Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Finding God in Almost-Black Fingernail Polish

It was my first assignment. The editor has read my writing, and even asked to print some of it. It makes me

But this is different. An assignment is faith in the unseen. I'm being entrusted to write a print-worthy article ahead of time, before there is evidence of a well-written piece. And I don't even have this kind of faith in myself. 

The feature necessitates an interview with a teenager and her mother. How hard can that be? I have three teens of my own, I am a mother, and we already know what to talk about — her story. Easy, right?

But I'm still reeling from my own story unfolding yesterday, and I'm distracted. I find out the day before that the mom is the owner of another magazine, which means she knows about publishing articles and interviews and will see that I'm a fake  novice. She will recognize my mistakes. I will be found out, and I think I'm humiliated even before I ring the doorbell. But I push myself forward into the doorbell and wait, counting the two strikes already against me.

She answers the door and glows like campfire kindling, all sixteen years of her. I notice almost-black fingernail polish chipping, and it finds my almost-black insecurity and chips away at it. We find seats in the living room, and I clumsily prod my new voice recorder into action.

She leans back into her seat and into her past to tell her story while I lean into my faith and find the assurance of things hoped for.

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