It was precisely because she was so small, living in such rocky terrain surrounded by people who were so much larger than life, that she was usually searching for meaning outside herself rather than in. She was too often certain that the hidden raison d’etre could be found and it merely eluded her, not others. They had found the key to the map while seasons, years and lifetimes later she was still looking. Looking for signs in everyday objects was her usual recourse. This approach appealed to her because answers readily at hand would be so much easier than those that might be secreted away in an esoteric tome or awaiting deep excavation far below the surface of mind or matter. And, being of such small stature and average mind, she always opted for the easiest path to enlightenment.
She read the falling autumn leaves as reliably as the soothsayer/desk clerk at Shaman Drum Bookstore read tea leaves. She pondered the significance of the various places the tail-less squirrel buried his hickory nuts he would soon forget. What did it mean that she had failed to brush her teeth that morning and she would choose to spend the day worrying that people would judge her foul breath when she could simply go and brush them?
This day Marta was concerned with discerning the meaning of the loaf of bread on her kitchen counter. What did it mean that it easily weighed 3 pounds and yet was not much larger than a dinner roll? Was it like the grilled cheese sandwich sold on eBay for 24,000.00? The one with Jesus clearly burned supernaturally into the top slice? Wonder Bread! Was there something she should be seeing here, in her bread? Perhaps a Holy impression? It was, after all, All Saint’s Day. She wondered if she went away and came back in an hour would stigmata be seeping from the cracks? She was fairly certain doubters would dismiss it as red dye # 2 and then she’d have to turn it over to some authority for further scrutiny. But in all those craters and ridges there had to be more to this bread than just expired dead yeast, yes?
She spent the few moments she felt she could spare and then, thinking her time would be better spent brushing her teeth, she pitched the sorry loaf across the yard, striking a glancing blow to the squirrel without the tail. What did it mean that now he also sported a small bald patch on the left side of his head, just behind the ear? This didn’t bode well for the cold times ahead.