Of late, when I’ve written something—and yes, it’s been far too long—the reasons why are something that some know. But at some point there comes a time when telling a story need not be sad. It can have light, laughter, and love, but, more importantly, it can bring a …
Sometimes it’s difficult to smile.
Not all can be fun, a wonder to behold. The most difficult parts of one’s existence aren’t found in the light, but rather in the depressions which appear from time to time. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that, overall, finding something in the grey to smile about can be its own reward.
As it is well known, those of the Realm see themselves in the grey, the in-between. The interesting thing about that, however, is that, regardless of how cloudy the grey might be or how light the grey could turn, those of the Realm manage, in their own ways, to smile.
But, sometimes, it’s difficult to smile.
The thing about smiles is that there are many of them to behold. Some smiles aren’t truly real ones. They are polite, holding a level of coolness in the thin smile given to another; there’s something missing in such a smile which cannot be overlooked. Others are more brash, open, given to the expression of the one who is sharing the smile with another; it’s a bit more real, but, at the same time, there’s something a bit off about it. But some give a smile that has warmth, a connection made which gives evidence that the smile is real and fully meant to be a smile.
It’s not always easy to smile.
Then there are tales of a certain smile which a certain ebon-haired monarch with a red tail carries with her. She might not be in the best of moods, or there might be things collecting upon her thoughts which bear themselves upon her.
Still, there’s always that smile.
Her smile is clearly bemused—there’s really no other way to describe it: an expression of mirth, the joy she has in knowing that the other sees the smile, but has no idea just what is causing the seductress with red horns to share it. As she is wont to say, from time to time: “That would be telling.”
But of late, sometimes, that bemused smile has seen some of its flair about the edges drifting away. There’s much that has been pulling her from the Realm, from her joys, from what she loved and dearly so.
Still, there’s a reason to smile.
There is a fence where she meets with her heart, a place where the smile comes a bit more easily. The meeting there is a time where the burdens are set aside for the sake of spending time with a soul who, despite himself and his concerns, means the world to her, even if he can’t quite still, after all of these years, understand just why that is. Of course, she also means the world and more to him. There is tea to share, sometimes a bit of some delectable dessert. A knowing glance from one is reflected in the smile of the other. They speak of their worlds, the thoughts of things to be told, the lives and loves always.
There is always, but always, a smile.
That, then, is the point, when one thinks about it: a smile isn’t a smile until, and unless, it is shared with someone that sees what resides within that smile. To understand, exactly, what a particular, almost legendary, bemused smile means.
In that shared world, the joys known, the thoughts given, but most of all, the laughter which makes that bemused smile appear is the wonder upon itself. It is a miracle and a truth shared between two souls: something that cannot quite be put into words or explained as to how, precisely, such a thing came to be.
In truth, the why isn’t as important as the smile.
It’s a question of everything that finds itself wrapped into the smile: the smile returned, the bemusement rekindled, is the gift given, but also returned; the spark of stories told, in the way they are meant to be, coming from parted lips. They curl into a smile—bemused of course, offering a glimpse of the one that wishes but to give.
This, then, is the truest smile: a promise of hope, faith, and love; an inkling of the soul herself, given a moment to shine from lovely and expressive lips. It bears witness to the effect that it has on the other her smile graces itself upon. It hints at what comes next from this moment and the moments that come …
… moments when one’s soul is caressed by a bemused smile.