4.12.03

A Confession of a Moment

Walking to school yesterday, I was awakened by a sound. It was the sound of creaking. I looked around, and realized that the sound was from a distant gate, across a field, swinging in the wind. It suddenly seemed very quiet. There were no people around, no cars, no bikes. I looked up, and right above me was the line separating the clouds from the clear blue sky. Yet only a long and deep stare penetrated to see that line, somehow the light and those gray clouds interacted to make the blue sky look gray to. It wasn't cold, but it wasn't warm either. It was that midwinter, below zero, average temperature, which feels so normal once you adjust to the cold. It was windy, but the wind did not bite or cut. It was more like being hit with a fan than a sword. Just enough to whitewash all the normal background noise of the city; the traffic on the main roads and the construction at the university.

And all those things that I normally thought of as real, that made up the image of my walk to school, were gone. It was as if everything that made it real in memory was gone in reality, dull and blunted, and all of those things I never notice suddenly stood out, like a splash of orange pain on a blue jazz concert.

I noticed the sidewalk; how some people had chipped away the layer of ice and snow to reveal the actual ground, and others had not, leaving a dirty brown and white, bumpy, icy covering. The winter road. I noticed the bushes, like little brown spears pitifully defying anyone to pass, as they swayed with the slightest breeze. I noticed the signs and mailboxes, how almost every one of them had some kind of graffiti on it. It reminded me of a graffiti on the back of a sign that I had seen a year or so ago, of two stick figures. One kneeling and asking the other to marry, but the other saying no. I don't know if it is still there, I had already passed it if it was.

And amidst all of these things that I never notice, that I take for granted, the most shocking realization came when I found God among them. I felt as if I were to look up from the brown spears and winter roads, I would see Him walking down the street towards me.

I slowly and hesitantly looked up...

And the spell broke. My walk to school became normal again. The gray clouds enclosed the blue-gray sky, until there were just clouds. I joined the nameless mass, which gathers as you get closer to the university. And I was almost comfortable, almost able to once again be part of the dull, blunted background. There was one problem, I was now awake. And though He didn’t leap out in the same way he had, God didn’t fade away. I was almost comfortable. Almost.

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