Query… we have already established in the About section is an unsolicited proposal for representation by a literary agent.
But it also has a meaning better known by the following definition:
que•ry (kwîr )
1. A question; an inquiry.
2. A doubt in the mind; a mental reservation.
So, I’m cleverly self-titled the Queen of Query, intended to mean I have queried so many literary agents, I have earned a prize crown. (and a play on my last name) But it wasn’t until I learned of the passing of an acquaintance yesterday that I began to question everything, once again. Yes, he was an acquaintance, actually the neighbor of a friend. I had met him a few times, he was a soldier, a father to three young girls, a husband to a beautiful and friendly wife, and played the piano. It always struck me odd, that this GI Joe could be so delicate as to play a piano. I love when people surprise me! He was so much of an acquaintance that my husband and I often referred to him simply as “The Neighbor” because we couldn’t remember his name. And as most people who hear bad news, experience tragedy, or comfort those in need, we are left with a host of unanswered questions. How could this happen to someone so young? Why? What will his girls do? Will they ever know him? How will his wife go on? How will they care for themselves? Why? Why? Why?
Until now, it has never occurred to me, Queen of Query could also suggest I am the Queen of Questions or the Queen of Doubt…some days both.
Queen of Questions.
I firmly believe one should always ask lots of questions. Think of the two-year old just learning to speak, awakening to the bright new world. Walking, exploring, touching, and the incessant questions… What’s that? Why? Who’s that mommy? Why is the sky blue? What does that handle do? Where does the water go when I flush? The never-ending barrage of questions! We have even given this tedious time a moniker that expresses how “terrible” it really is. As adults, we dismiss this as a “phase” they will soon grow out of and Thank Goodness! Right?
I hope not! In reality, we should encourage questions, in fact, we should ask them ourselves. I hope we never grow out of that phase because after all that is how we learn. When we learn we become more understanding. When we learn we become less aggressive. When we learn we become kinder. When we learn we become more tolerant. When we learn we become fearless.
Queen of Doubt.
We all have our days of doubt. When everything we know is turned upside down, shaken, and then poured onto the rocks. The cold hard rocks. When the doubt cripples any hope. When the doubt suffocates any chance for air. The darkness. If you have never experienced true darkness in your life, you have never experienced true love…romantic or otherwise. For is it is in the face of loss that we see the wrinkles of doubt. We have all lost at some point in our lives. Whether we feel pain for those left behind, like “the neighbor’s” family, or if we feel pain for ourselves, knowing we could be next. If that doesn’t create a sense of doubt then you heart only beats in vain. Loss, in the truest sense, creates the bond of love, and love for mankind is the one thing we hold on high. We all seek it. Whether it be love from a friend, our child, our companion, our community, our Church, our God. For some reason, it is only when it’s gone, that we begin to bargain. We begin to make promises we don’t intend to keep. We begin to curse at the WHY? It is only then, when we begin to ask the questions.
Important questions that were just a phase for the tired mother. Difficult questions that garnered a quick response because it was an uncomfortable conversation. Challenging questions that upset us so much we got angry. Honest questions that broke our heart in two and left us crying on the floor. Unanswered questions that left us in our darkest days of doubt. Those are questions that inevitably changed who we are and who we will become.
I happily accept the crown as Queen of Questions and Doubt; after all, she’s much more interesting than the Queen of Answers.