E wing

a memory.
  1. I walk into the E wing of the Getty today and as the heavy glass door shuts behind me, the silence envelopes me in a memory from when I was 20 and sitting in the catholic church I went to as a child.
  2. It was eery enough that I actually smelled the incense burning and that quiet feeling before the people start showing up for service.
  3. The echo of voices in another room looking at sculptures and 16th century furniture reminded me of the voices I would hear of the volunteers who were behind the altar, prepping their readings and helping the priest get communion ready.
  4. It was that feeling. I sat down and let it happen. And I remembered a small moment when it was silent once.
  5. The heavy wooden front door opened with a whoosh and a man walked in from the snow and cold. I didn't turn around but you could hear him brush the snow off of his arms and knew his stomping was to shake the snow off of his shoes.
  6. Soon you're listening to a conversation between the man who just came from an AA meeting down the street, trying to stay in line and catch an evening service and the priest who was walking from near the front door having grabbed something, heading back to the busy worker bees at the alter table laying out the linens and lighting candles.
  7. You can tell the man knew he was interrupting so he wraps up his life quick and you hear the priest pat him on the shoulder and thank him for being present in the moment. God bless you son.
  8. And you want to walk up to the man and ask him to continue his story and tell him you were listening the whole time because you just came from your own meeting and you were sitting in silence. And it was a silence that needed the interruption.
  9. But you don't. You get up and walk out into the cold, looking up to see the snow fall from the street lights yellow glow. You get to your car and the ice cold seat hits your buttocks and you turn on the heat and blow into your hands while gazing ahead at the snow falling, wondering why you're stuck and came to the sanctuary.