The stranger will come to your door. He cannot enter without your permission, but he has come to help, and so there seems to be no harm to inviting him in. He likes to talk. First he talks about the problems he can solve. This is how he helps. He’s a helper. He is also a man who understands the connections between things, and so he points out the other problems, those problems that led to the problems he was invited to solve. One must trace a thing back to its beginning. After all, to effectively weed a garden we must pull out the roots.
Now he begins to dig. You find you are not enjoying your companion so much. All this digging is exhausting and only ever seems lead to more problems. “When will this end?” you ask.
“Once we’ve solved all the problems.”
“But we haven’t solved a single problem yet.”
“Because we haven’t found them all. Anything less than thorough is useless.”
You did not know until meeting your friend that your life was nothing but problems. What a mess you’ve made. “What will it look like once you’ve found all these problems and solved them?”
“What will what look like?”
“My life. Can you describe it to me?”
Your friend blinks back at you. “Why would you want to know that? Do you want me to leave?”
“I’m sorry. What?”
“If there are no problems, there’s no reason for me to be here. Is that how you repay me? I came to help and all you can show me is the door?”
“I just want a life without problems.”
“Well, you’re going to have to choose. It’s a life without problems, or a life without me, your closest and most loyal friend.”
It almost feels like love, what he’s describing. Except you remember that love is what comes when problems leave, and so you make your choice.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.