I’ve begun knitting a new pair of socks in brilliant teal. Already I have a feeling they’re not for me, but for someone else. I can’t envision their face yet or connect my hunch to a voice. No one has requested socks from me. But still, I know. Knit, knit. Pearl, pearl. My earbuds are tucked in and I’m listening to the podcast On Being with Krista Tippett. She’s just quoted a line written by poet, historian, philosopher and author of Doubt, Jennifer Michael Hecht.
“We are indebted to one another and the debt is a kind of faith—a beautiful difficult, strange faith. We believe each other into being.”
Standing on its own, this idea affirms that out-of-sight does not equate to out-of-mind. Through our very existence, we’re each part of an intricate web of connection to an inconceivable number of people—whether the uniting interaction was a smile, wave, courteous gesture, text, social media post, card, email, phone call, pleasantry, condolence, congratulations, debate or deep conversation. Even if we’ve never met and you’re reading this, we are now connected. I imagine your screen-lit face holding my words close. We believe each other into being.
Let’s keep going. Knit, knit. Pearl, pearl. In all our joys and struggles we remain essential to a vast community of family, loved ones, friends, acquaintances and near strangers. It’s not our station in life pre-COVID that sets our value. So if you’ve lost ground as of late, please don’t assume irrelevance. People treasure how you make them feel. It’s an imprint time can’t erase. It’s the you-ness, exclusively yours and nonreplaceable. We need you.
In her poem Sleepers, Sylvia Plath wrote about walking a neighbourhood after dark and “casting a backward look” at a slightly ajar lit window. Although the inhabitants were hidden from view, she wrote. “And they turn in their sleep. / Ousted from that warm bed / We are a dream they dream.” And here is the faith and debt Hecht pondered. Even as we are out-of-sight, it’s possible to sustain others through acknowledgement in all its many forms.
Sending you all light and love. Please keep believing and being.
(PS Thanks for stopping by. Click here to join my bimonthly newsletter and receive Chapter One of The Last Hoffman.)
Sacrifice, betrayal, family secrets! A widower and young mother struggle to overcome their tragic pasts in a dying mill town. The Last Hoffman is the story of a quiet man who is tested and discovers his courage. It will restore your belief in second chances.
“For all the novel features characters that are alone, it is a story driven by human connections (…) With vivid descriptions, natural dialogue and in-depth characterization, Tuinman compels us to look beyond the surface. The ending is triumphant.” –Gail Murray, Historical Novel Society
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