Light, light blue and bright, bright gold are the colors in between the lines of the blinds on my window. Within, those lines are gray and colorless. So the contrast between the beauty of the tree against the sky, and the blandness of what conceals it, has drawn my eye daily upon waking.
I can see the shape of it. That beauty. That tree. Though much of its glory I have hidden. It is the same with the sounds. Echoes, of tires on pavement, of wind, and movement without, contrast the stillness within this place. A hum pervades my space. A perceptible hum of air underneath all the objects that cannot produce sounds but seem to when all is so still. The quilt on the bed, the clothes piled in a chair. The mirror, with its muted reflection and the book on the pillow. None can make a real sound without me. And I am frozen among them with no need to move.
I often think of how my spaces seem when I am not here. When no one is here. How they wait for life. How they are still lifes unimmortalized. And still myself I have a glimpse of the secret. This space does not know that I am here. And I can be witness to how it looks and sounds and inaudibly lives when I am truly not.
Often, quiet does not offend. Often, it is presumed that withholding comment is safer than speaking. Often, the present and steady and unassuming but silent are praised, for their existence does not threaten or challenge our perceptions about them. We do not know that we do not agree. We do not know what they think and are not hurt. We do not know for sure whether they love or hate or worse, neither. It is easy to cloak them, those quiet things, in whatever attributes, in whatever qualities, in whatever meaning which we need.
But those liquids are neither hot for comfort or cold for refreshment. And they sit idle in cups unswallowed, on tables steady that do not threaten their contents. Left behind by people of action who have long left to go act and the cup, containing that which is now room temperature, is forgotten. Forgotten because it did not exist enough.
To stay in the quiet and wait. Wait and wait and wait some more. For perhaps that drink was just too hot and the memory of a scalding tongue warned. Wait and wait and wait until I forget what it is that I am waiting for. For perhaps it was innocent that forgetting. Wait and wait and wait and wait. For perhaps it was just time. Time clicking by until it was too late to finish the task. What amount of time is it that you will give to get a ticket? What amount of time is it that you will give to have your turn? What amount of time is fair? To get an answer. To be heard. Are you respected enough to get an answer? Are you remembered enough to get a reply?
Waiting, you are the stillness and the gray lines. You are the liquid level in the cup. You are the muted reflection, the soft pink and brown and ivory that all blurs together when no lights are on. When no music plays. When no dancing disrupts the day. When no sounds are heard at all.
Or go out. Go out into the blue sky, where it is cold and crisp, and I need a coat. Out into the noise where I must have things to do, where I must have a place to go in order to keep existing. Out, where the gold of dry leaves still clinging to trees do hint of beauty just past and beauty almost ready to arrive. Out, where eyes do see and know and permeate that which I could have kept safe. Out, where things are wanted and where those desires are longed for and spoken. Where hearts are laid open and vulnerable, fluttering through skin. Out, like opening and pulling in a freezing rush, the water in my eyes flashes to awareness. I know what I am taking in. The wind scraping all my naked skin. I know what I am feeling. Out, to that fullness of life where I might be foolish. I might be a dream. I might be wrong.
Joy, you are the blue sky. You are the gold leaves in my line of sight. You are the clean air that risks a discomfort. You are the noise and the moving and the being and the going. You are the risk worth taking and the starting over. The what that is not expected. Unwritten and unforetold. The shocking red, the blunt purple, and the glowing orange. The laughing at snowflakes. The smiling in bright sunlight. Joy, you are sounds and singing. You are words out loud and not withheld but freely given, freely lifting and lifting. A swing on long chains that glides into delight. And happiness in a moment. Happiness and joy.
I will get my hat and scarf and gloves and venture out into the dusk. I will smile at strangers. I will pet dogs, and I will stare at the moon. I will go out. I am done waiting.