Friday, October 29, 2010

When the Crowd Closes In

I sing the praise of the long-distance runner who takes to the road in the damp morning darkness and sinks into the rhythm of her feet hitting the pavement and who floats through the wondrous maze of her thoughts in a runner's high, exploring who she is and how strong she can become. So long as she is preparing for a race she doesn't care about winning.

I sing the praise of the boy sitting in his silent room at night on a Saturday, painting tiny pewter figures and watching old Sherlock Holmes films as the fog curls around his house. So long as he is going to meet his friends for a role-playing adventure during the week and put those painted pieces to use.

I sing the praise of the teenaged girl staying home from the mall on a weekend afternoon, no make up, hair in a ponytail, pencil hissing over the pages and filling the book in her lap with sketches. So long as she will share her vision with the world on a day to come.

I sing the praise of the songwriter at the piano, surrounded by papers and working out the fine elements of a chord progression by himself, hours on end, whisper-singing, lightly playing late at night so as not to awaken his wife. So long as he has the guts to sing his songs out loud to the crowd -- when the time comes.

I sing the praise of the prayerful old woman who has been prayerful since her days of staggering beauty and robust health, praying alone in her outdated kitchen over a steaming cup of coffee. So long as she goes to worship to worship, and not to be lauded for the way she covers her face while she prays or for how loudly she sings.

I praise the thinkers, the believers and the makers and those who treasure silence and solitude and improvement. So long as they stay in the mix, on their own terms. So long as they realize that "community" can be nonsense, but doesn't have to be. So long as they think of themselves first and the world second, but with deep concern. As it must be.

I praise all of the people I hope I can be when the time comes; when the crowd closes in.

No comments:

Post a Comment