A piece reflecting my experience after making a silent retreat with the Benedictines at the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Chicago. An attempt to find peace and stillness amidst a blanket of constant noise in the Windy City.

The sound of sirens, babies crying,

and a faint buzzing of insects

all tell a tale in this pandemonium, a beehive.

No time for chatter, time is money.

To meet those deadlines, to meet those payments.

A view from above is a gridlock of streets,

adorned with countless specks called people,  

each with their own lives to tell.

Red, yellow,, yellow, red.

The sign says walk, but such is a feat in of itself.

A major boulevard is shoulder to shoulder,

with the business suits, designer skirts, and

constant buzzing of the social media

cradled by the hands and absorbed by the eyes.

For a moment, all goes to darkness when the eyes are shut.

Some sounds pervade over others.

Yet there is a faint voice in the recesses of all the noise.

"Be still and know that I am here..."

Wait, one ponders.

It's "Be still and know that I am God."

The mystery of the dialogue enraptures one's attention.

Further contemplation reveals a deeper array of voices.

This time a warm, soothing one, such that brings

even one beat of the heart to stillness.

"Be still, and know that I am here..."

The voice grows, yet fades with each passing movement.

The warmth is imbued on the grooves of the palm

as the hand opens to a rusted crucifix

cradled in the warm, moist hands.

The sensation of the voice fades away 

into the collage of sounds

as the eyes open once more

to the ongoing world.