Sometimes, all it takes is a friend to show up at work with two sandwiches and an invitation for an impromptu picnic.
You will talk, between large mouthfuls of onion and ham, of children and motherhood and kerosene lanterns. You will laugh together, the hillside of trees in the background inching a little closer toward the full green of summer. You will love her, as you always have, but even more in this moment of spontaneity that she alone created. She is a true artist.
And then, she will stop. She will look at you and you will see that she is carefully choosing her words. And when she says them, those words stitched together in a sort of song sung directly to your heart, every doubt you had about yourself will vanish.
Okay, not every doubt. But certainly all the ones related to your ability to write meaningful, worshipful, beautiful things. She will give you the permission you needed.
Thank you will fall tragically short, but you say it anyway. You say it again and again. She nods; she knows.
She finishes her sandwich, you finish yours. There is more laughter, talk of sandboxes and how obnoxious sand is to sweep off the kitchen floor. Cars pass on the road. People walk by, silently inspired by the art of picnicking. You hug her, your true artist friend. You walk away, everything having changed.