A book report on a famous person. She chooses Anne Frank. She has never heard of Anne Frank but the book has a picture of a little girl on the cover. She is a little girl.
I leave her to leaf through the pages at her own pace, to discover her own meaning about something with no meaning. I finally ask her what she thought about the book. She says she doesn’t get it. I say, neither do I- but I don’t mean the book.
So we snuggle on the couch and go through it together. A discussion that has no words. A hate that has no reason. A following that has no mind. Endless unanswerable why questions claw their way out of each page. I move over to let them sit there with us. I squish up beside my little girl, glad to be closer.
But soon it’s too crowded on the couch -the two of us and the endless why’s. There is no room to sit comfortably anymore, so we sit on the edge.
I begin to cry tears she doesn’t yet know about. The whys pull them out of me from far away places and make them run down my face for her to see. I am thankful that she looks at me oddly. Not really getting it. And although neither of us really will understand, we need to try. We need to try for Anne, try for ourselves, and also for you. So I push on trying to find our way through the whys, a way through to knowing more about another.
But my little girl is done. She has had enough and leans forward from the edge of the couch. She shakes off the why’s letting them fall with a thud. Then takes something small from the table in front of us, and blows. Blows bubbles right then. It feels weird, out of place in the midst of dark stories and the shaking of hopeless heads. Stop. This isn’t the right time for bubbles, but ofcourse it is. So in this tight cramped space bubbles float up and expand our room. I breathe in, she breathes out. I dry my tears. Her book report, Anne, the whys, and everything that is just too hard in that moment float away in soft weightless hope filled balls. So we sit back and smile at a room filled with such playful distraction.
She had finally found a way through the whys. There are just no answers to some of life’s questions. Once she had listened, asked, doubted with her 9 year old mind -this little girl’s heart needed bubbles of light and delight to carry her beyond the worlds pain. So she took what she could and then released them with life. Her breath in each bubble sent straight from her heart.
Here world, carry these to someplace safe.