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, green....green, 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.