Yesterday, a friend told me that I was cynical. On the heels of that, she told me that she had no faith, though still a little hope. We were speaking of people, not the divine; and I had given her a fairly sharp view of humanity which she could rightly characterize as cynical. We spoke over coffee, after court, two women — mothers, lawyers — who have seen much, survived to middle-age, and raised children in a world both beautiful and cold.
She told me about a woman from another country whose soon-to-be husband came with a pre-nuptial agreement reciting that she would ask nothing of him in the event of divorce regardless of the length of the marriage or their respective circumstances at the time of a future divorce. My friend refused to be a party to such a scheme, or to give any advice to the woman other than not to sign the document. She called the lawyer who prepared it and demanded that her name be taken off the document as counsel for the woman. She sent the woman a letter stating her thoughts in the starkest of terms. She said to me: Here they should have been planning their future together, and the whole thing started with his plan to make sure she had nothing if they separated.
She told the woman, “Suppose you have children? If he doesn’t want to help you, what makes you think he will help the children?” I could see the outrage on her face, the anger on behalf of that woman and others whom she has counseled. The essential underlying outrage, though, is the loss of faith. My expressions of cynicism were situational; hers seemed deep and wrenchcing.
I sit here on my deck, waiting the appointed hour to go for yet another medical test, at least three eggs juggling in the whirl of my world about to fall and splatter any moment. But despite my expressions of disgust after court yesterday, I still expect that — come what may — a peaceful existence awaits me each morning. Last week someone stole the bag that belonged to my mother-in-law Joanna, containing my tablet, docking station, chargers, make-up, glasses and more. Yesterday, someone else returned that bag to me completely intact. Not one single thing was missing, damaged or, seemingly, even disturbed. When I turned the corner of our reception area and saw the bag waiting for me, a surge of something close to joy rushed through me.
I’m glad to have my belongings back, including the tablet on which I now write, and perhaps most especially, Joanna’s bag. Even more, though, I’m glad my faith in humanity got a little salve yesterday. On the heels of finding my hope ring which I had inexplicably lost again, the return of Joanna’s bag “lightened the weight / of a heavy mood / and saved some part / of a day I had rued”. (Frost) So this is for you, Jeanne. Have a little faith with that hope. Namaste.