CHASING THE STORM



“There is always a storm. There is always rain. Some experience it. Some live through it. And others are made from it.” – Shannon L. Alder


I heard it’s the end, he told her. That’s what they tell me anyway.


Who told you that? She asked him.


Everyone, he replied. I mean, the signs are all over the place. It’s pretty obvious. There’s not much left to do but watch it all go down. Watch it all go down in flames.


She laughed.


Seriously? Don’t you want to be a part of the solution? She asked.


He sat in her office. She was a great therapist. She’d helped him in so many ways. Too many to count, he figured. And here she was, still trying to inspire him. Still trying to bring out the best in him.


She wasn’t giving up on him.


He paused.


I read a quote the other day, he told her. About the end of days. The apocalypse.


She nodded.


How do you feel about that? How does it make you feel that one day the world will end?


He shrugged. Dunno, he said. I think there’s a kind of blessing in the idea of an ultimate end. It’s like… we’ve been here for a long time. And maybe everything must end at some point.


That’s true, she said.


Nothing is forever.


He stared at her. A blank stare.


The thing is, she continued, it’s not so much about living to see hard times… but more about what we do with the time we’re given.


What do you mean? He asked.


You’ve got something in you, she told him. Something that has the potential to do a hell of a lot of good. You’ve got a gift.


Yeah?


Yes, she said.


It’s your choice.


You can go with the rest of the world.


Or you can be the change.


He turned his head slightly to the left, and looked out the small office window behind the desk at the end of the room. It was raining. Absolutely pissing rain.


An undeniably west coast kind of October, with the wetness and the overcast skies.


He pursed his lips together and looked back at the woman sitting across from him. She was pretty. And he wondered if a pretty face could be trusted.


What impact can I possibly have? He asked her. I mean, yeah, I can be the change… but where does change lead?


Change leads to more change, she replied. You can either resist it and hold on, or you can let go and embrace this curious thing we call life.


She swiveled in her chair to face the window and began flipping through the scattered papers on her desk.


That’s it? He said. So… we’re done talking?


She didn’t say a word. And an awkward silence filled the office.


He slowly got out of his chair and began putting on his jacket. He glanced around the sparsely decorated office, noticing a few small framed artworks, and a canvas piece, maybe eight inches by ten, hanging discreetly at the back. He took a few steps closer to read the message printed on the canvas.


“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”


He stood there, staring at the canvas print, transfixed – completely unaware of the sudden sound of thunder coming from the darkening skies outside.


He took one final look around the room, eyeing his therapist momentarily as she continued shuffling through her paperwork.


He picked up his umbrella, and walked out the door.

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