in the hallway

You’ve been walking down that hallway for a while, testing the doors- knocking or just listening against them. You know not to enter too soon, not wanting to find yourself in the wrong room. But you know also that if you don’t find a way in soon enough, you’ll be stuck in the hallway for too long. No one wants to spend too long in the hallway. Not a lot happens there.

You’d talked to me about all that you’d built. Remember, you were talking about it down at the lake house? It was at that time that you were in the middle of things, you spoke of your structures that were half-built leaning on light stilts. And you were worried whether they would hold. You were building up, planted on a foundation you had prepared for so long. You’d been preparing for that thesis since we were together in high school.

You’re walking along now. You are in the corridors of the home campus university. You know these walls so well. It was here that you first showed your talent. It was here you got the scholarship to go and do your research in the hedges. It was here that you received your honours. It was here that they first believed in you. You are walking past the old pictures and the plaques. You know this is where it all started.

When we were at the lake house you spoke to me of your fears in building. You were aiming so high in your thesis. You were quite tired in the building, don’t you remember? You were worried about the bureaucracy of that university.  You were worried that bitchy dean wouldn’t approve you.

You aren’t tired any more. You are showered and well rested.

And then you were shocked how things progressed. Had we ever acknowledged how much you’d achieved? You built towers so tall with miraculous strength of support. You did so well bringing the evidence together from your findings in the garden. You had your paper published. You never believed that any of that could have happened. I was so happy to see you so happy. You leaned towards to sun. You were overwhelmed at the heights. Reaching closer to the sun, you glowed. I’m so proud of you.

And now it’s happened, and you are walking. And my story still isn’t over. I’m still writing remember and the words don’t end here. We aren’t at the denouement, I’m in charge of my plot structure, even though your line runs steadily parallel to the x axis for now as you walk along the hallway.

You were climbing towards y for so long. You reached such a height, I wondered how you’d come down. The air is a little different here, hey. But perhaps it is strange to be taking deep breaths again. Maybe it’s strange living in these human skies. You were upset when you’d finished your work. You told me you felt like you’d built a tower- a castle and like you had to leave it desolate, like one of those rural castles in the Loire. You built then wondered, “now what?” But a couple of days later you answered your own question. You told me that once a builder proved her ability to build, she did not need to start from scratch again. You told me that she could rightly inherit a key for the next building that would have been pre-constructed for her. I said that sounded good to me. I would have believed any thing you said when you spoke from that height.

I suggested perhaps your castle was on loan. Perhaps you were renting it to someone, and you could borrow it back one day. After all, what do we really own here anyway? And who gave you those keys, where did they come from?

And now you’re walking and you are holding those keys. You are testing the keys in the different doors. You know that they open more than one so you are careful of which one to choose. There is a certain door before you, which no one is able to shut. It was your building in the garden that proved to yourself you had right of that key. And you went to the garden because of the word that was put before you for the scholarship. You still have that word that goes before you, you can mention that name when you knock at the door and it will be opened. So you have the key, the word and the name.

So keep walking, and I’ll be here behind you. When you check the door to the right, or when you check the door to the left, know that this is the way; walk in it.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “in the hallway

  1. Laura

    Isaiah 30:21 – love it.

  2. Pingback: On the road, re-routed | she, the sojourner

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