And yet, immediately, you know that you are lying. There is no antidote to grief; there are simply distractions, ways to cope. Hearing from your own mouth your own lie, you learn that you can lie – to others and to yourself. You notice also that you are marking time while your life, which has become pointless, continues to play itself out. You have therefore developed a surface, a seeming. You hope you appear normal. Your friend's silent gaze lets you know she sees deeper.
Later, looking back, you realise you have acquired some kind of stoic endurance. This is a true lesson: not merely something you have learned to do, but a way you have learned to be. This one is not a lie; it is a change. But the nature of change is not to be permanent. You learn that you cannot trust it, any more than if it was in fact a lie. It is true now, but may become a lie later. You learn of the shifting nature of truth. You learn that you do not know where your grief will take you next. You have also learned that your friend will keep pace.
'Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity,' said Kahlil Gibran.
slow footsteps –
she cleans her house
over and over
Written for dVerse Haibun Monday 2, and for Poets United's Midweek Motif:Teacher