My apartment seems to me like a castle. Soft, spacious bed. Clean shiny wooden floors. A firm leather couch not worn thin by the thousands of students who’ve sat in it. And not a single spider in sight. A fridge filled with tasty food… and libations. My ears are swept up in the sweet melody of children playing, cars roaring by, heels click-clacking against the sidewalk, all punctuated by the fierce wooshing drone of the el.
I’m HOME. It feels so.
Four weeks in the forest. Four good, restorative, healing, thoughtful, provocative, incandescent weeks in the forest — an elixir that’s true. Yet, I belong here, in Chicago, with the hazy smog resting on the shoreline, the obnoxiously loud neighbors who could very well be tap dancing above me, piles of unmanaged clutter in my apartment that remind me of the past. I belong in Chicago, where simplicity and serenity are needles in a haystack of motion, relationships and question marks.
I realize that in exactly one week, I will mark the end of what has been the most significant year of my life. I’ve gone from swimming in jello to numbing silence to white purple fury and all destinations in between.
But today I sit in silence, lost in my thoughts and emotions. I’m celebrating, I’m mourning, I’m pondering, I’m wandering, I’m laughing, I’m weeping, I’m longing, I’m sleeping.
It is a good place to be. Not just a new place, but a good place. Not just an old place, but a true place. Not just a real place, but a right place.
Lie not; but let thy heart be true to God,
Thy mouth to it, thy actions to them both:
Cowards tell lies, and those that fear the rod;
The stormy working soul spits lies and froth.
Dare to be true. Nothing can need a lie:
A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.
— George Herbert, “The Church Porch”