Another one of those short stories that I write from time-to-time today on the Tale. There might even be a point to it … if you really look for one, that is …
It was, should one consider it, really one of those questions that were asked of Tera on a regular basis. Sometimes it was someone she met … out there … somewhere. Other times it might come from someone in the Realm that had the question in mind for a long time and, quite on the off chance, came to find themselves bumping into Tera … one way or the other.
What usually followed was a pause, a long drawn out one, as if the person was trying to decide if this was the right moment to ask the question or not. Or perhaps it was more a matter of pausing and reflecting on whether or not asking might irritate Tera in some fashion or other and wind up with the Queen being … disappointed. Regardless of the reason for the pause, Tera knew what would come next, because she had come to know that particular pause so very well by now. She would patiently wait, because that was how she was, after all, and allow the question to drift into the air, out in the open for all to see and think about.
It was, to tell the truth, a question that Tera herself had spent more time thinking about than she would likely wish to admit. She had read about it, talked about it, asked about it, and, in the end, came to discover that the question was something special.
It depended upon the one who was asking it, first of all, because perspective did matter so very much when this question was asked. To some, it might mean very little at the moment it was asked, and would never amount to much. For others, the question would come to mean something in the fullness of time … whenever that happened to be. For certain people, it mattered in that moment, because it was a question that meant something in the here and now and always would to them.
The object of the question also mattered. Was it a person? A place? A thing? It could well be any and all of these, again depending upon the person asking the question and what she or he were thinking about, wondering about, or deciding upon.
But whichever the case or whatever the situation, impression, or consideration, the question was posed with the same words: “What’s the point?”
These three small words always do have a certain hold on anyone who asks the question. For Tera, they meant one thing; for someone else, they would mean another. Again, it was a matter of perspective that made the difference. Those observing Tera would see her tap a finger against her lips a moment, her head tilted to the right as she considered how to respond. It would not seem like she thought about the question for long, but her answer would seem as if she did—because, after all, she had.
“What is the point?” Tera never used contractions, thus the three-word question was always turned into a four-word one before she replied. It may well have been that the extra word made the difference in the answer she gave, but then, no one really asked her why she did so. Everyone was usually more focused on the answer and missed the nuance—a pity, for in that nuance was the key.
“What is the point?” she would begin. “We all need something to strive towards. Is there a moment to experience? Is there a passion to ignite? Could there be a fleeting encounter that changes the world, yourself, or another? It is part of our nature to look out into the world around us, the universe that we see and wonder to ourselves.”
That finger that had been tapping her lips would move off and away from them, now being part of the hand that Tera rested her cheek against as she smiled warmly towards the one that had asked the question of her. “We look at the world and wonder, ‘Why?’ In the same moment, we wonder, ‘Why not?’ We look into our past and consider what was, and then look into the future and consider what might be. We see, from our moment, that we have done things, and we think about the point of them. We look ahead and wonder about the point all those things will have to us someday.”
She then would allow herself a soft, knowing smile … just a little one … one in which there was no hidden meaning, no disguised aspect to it. It was simply a smile born from one who had, has, and will be asking that question of herself, always.
“The point is. It changes from one moment to the next, becomes something never expected, and yet it is always exactly what you expected it to be. It transforms itself from moment to moment as it looks at you and in return you transform it when you look back.”
She would then brush a few stray locks of her hair back over her shoulder and then ask a question in counterpoint to the one she had been asked: “Does it matter that the point is ever found?”
This would usually cause some confusion, as the question was one that likely hadn’t been considered, for really it never is. Tera would wait patiently for a shrug, a cough, a confused look, something that showed that there wasn’t an answer for her question at that moment.
“Arriving at the point is only the beginning of the search towards the next one. The point is not the point … the point is the journey towards finding it. Good, bad, or somewhere in-between, the path taken is what really matters.”
Again, this would be greeted by confusion: a laugh, dismissal, or some other waving of a hand, hoping to make that particular thought disappear into the ether. But it wouldn’t. The new thought about the journey would remain, sometimes in the background of thought, sometimes in the foreground.
The path of that new thought would branch into two directions. The first, sadly taken more often than the second, would be a polite thank you, the questioner retreating to seek his or her way.
The other path, the more interesting one, would be in a look the one giving the question would have. It would be one of wonder—not always understanding, but certainly of gaining a new perspective and, in having that, changing and growing, as well.
Whichever the path, the response from Tera would be the same: “Would you care for some company along the way?”
In those words the point would be found, offered with a smile, sparkling green eyes, and more.
And those who answered “yes” would have unlocked the true gift.
For in truth, that—joining—is Tera’s point, always waiting to be found for everyone who sought it out.