“Thou still unravished bride of quietness,
Thou foster child of silence and slow time” – John Keats
* * * *
You are abandoned and stuck between two roadways. You are held captive behind waving chain-linked fences and razor wire. You are now not much to look at, with your pits of concrete rubble and grass and weeds. They wack away at every inch of you night and day; crews take turns reducing you to nothing but memories kept in picture frames.
But I’ll remember you. I promise I will. I know you were more than they say in the papers. You were a great hall of science and study. Secret meetings were held in your basement. Scholars and students were published from your offices above. I am a product of your protecting walls. I am a former gazer-out of your grand windows. I snuck in one night and kept a bit of your faux corinthian column. I am a pillar of knowledge now because you wanted to help me learn.
I constantly have to slow down and reset.
- When I get really sad
- When I become overly confident and emotional
- When I take things too seriously
I always have to reset and when I do, I ask myself the same question:
What do you know for sure?
My faith is not bulletproof. My relationships aren’t either. Few things are.
I do know for sure that I enjoy driving late at night and contemplating. Thinking about whatever I feel is pressing and worth mulling over. For the same reason, I enjoy walking, deep in thought, after the sun has gone down.
There is something peaceful about the quiet of a December night and the feeling that everyone in the world is tucked away in their beds, but me. It isn’t so much that I feel powerful, but perhaps that I am experiencing a special moment designed for me centuries ago.
Frequently, I come to the conclusion that I can’t come to any conclusions. I struggle to define what really matters. However, the things I know for sure, center around ideas like: peace, contentment and tranquility. Quiet moments of clarity give me a glimpse of what is important and what is lasting. Those things, I want to hold on to forever.