I've been moping again.
And what's worse than a moper moping about moping? Makes me mope just to think about it.
An email to a friend snapped me back to Pollyanna-ville.
You know how it goes with these slapdash notes—one thing leading to another then another until suddenly you realize you're way off track but realize, too, that off-track is exactly the place you need to be.
I had been recalling a coffee shop I used to frequent, one in a re-purposed agricultural building. Patched plaster walls, creaky wood floors, a painted-over timber ceiling still studded with the hardware from cranks and pulleys—a ton of atmosphere oozing from the very bones of it.
I had a favorite table, next to a window that faced out to the street from which I'd watch the seasons as they'd steam and bluster by. One day I noticed that the table had a small drawer in it. I opened it (of course I opened it!), and--WHOA!--a little note inside! A note inviting me, the anonymous finder, to write back a note of my own. Which, of course, I did.
I conjured every romantic movie ever made and hoped for the best. Who knew where this might lead?
Well, nowhere, as it happened. As was inevitable, I suppose. I didn't connect with my note-leaver again, but the thrill never passed, and I took to leaving my own little notes. Not all the time (I'll mention that my table wasn't always available. Imagine!), but frequently enough. And when I'd check back, my little note was always gone. And a couple of times I found another. Oh the clandestine thrill of that!
So there it was, that little underground life, brimming with possibility. The zinging thrill when I pulled open the drawer. The deflation of emptiness. The elation of finding a little scrap of something.
That got me thinking about surprises. The unanticipated and when-you-least-expect-it kind. So many of my darker days have been brightened by a small bulb of unexpectedness. A silly postcard in the mail. A bag of vegetables left on my porch. The grocery clerk giving me a bunch of flowers from the bucket near the door. All these little lasers, unbeknownst, beamed directly at me!
Such a solitary enterprise, this tip toward mope. I need to make a note to myself: Open more drawers. It's possible I might find something. Or it's entirely possible that I might find something by leaving something else behind.
Nancy Carol Moody
I'm a poet and a letter-writer. Yup, that kind. The kind who uses pens and paper and actual stamps. The kind who will leave the house with nothing on the agenda but to get to the mailbox before the scheduled pick-up time. The kind who understands that technology is a wondrous thing, but nothing quite beats finding a real letter with a real stamp on it amid the credit card solicitations, pizza coupons and seminar catalogs.