Yesterday I finally met SueBE and Ruth. Oh, we’ve known each other for years — eight, I think — and we’ve spoken on the phone and seen one another in photographs. But yesterday marked our first real meeting (if you count Zoom as real, which I do). Even before I’d friended SueBE on Facebook, I knew just how she’d be — the friendly face, the laugh, the slight Missouri drawl. She’s the super-smart sarcastic girl you want to be BFFs with in high school, only you’re a little afraid she would see right through your nonsense. Ruth was more surprising. Not because she doesn’t look like her picture; she does. It’s just that in all the years before I’d seen that picture, I’d imagined her as a brash brunette or zesty redhead, not a delicate blonde with cheekbones that could cut glass. Oh, she can turn on the “Jersey” if she wants to. It’s just a little like witnessing a ballerina impersonating a longshoreman.

Anyway, we talked a bit about how we’d gotten here; that is, how three such disparate points of light had managed to converge. And while I know very little about physics, I know this much: A higher hand was at work.

It takes a touch to turn
string theory into cat’s cradle,
to weave strands that by rights
should never warp or weft, that
(like a luckless pairing of disparate
dishes somehow combines to form a feast)
becomes a rope so finely turned and tasseled,
it could pull a weighted liner across a sea of stones.
We know the weaver; we’ve seen his work. Why, then,
wonder that such things occur? Yet if you read it in a book,
you’d frown at such blatant deus ex machinations. Let us
instead marvel at the weird we of us, of the variations that
make us sisters, at the deft impossibility that made us friends.