Building vs. State of Mind

by HelluvaGirl

There’s a meadow in front of my living room window. A large green area separating my block of flats and a church.

I can see the white cross on its rooftop whenever I raise my eyes from the dining table or smoke on the balcony, ever negotiating with my demons.

One Sunday in summer I woke up and heard something piercing the air outside the drawn curtains of the bedroom. It was music. Light, serene, pure. It took me a while to realise it was a chant filling the air of the neighbourhood with golden light, coming from the small office-like suburban building across the meadow.

I felt so happy that time. It reminded me of childhood when I’d wake up in my bed and feel the air vibrating from the cathedral bells. I would sit up, move the curtain and see the huge white church across the city square, inviting people to a Sunday mass.

That sound of church bells moving the air is one of the most comforting things in my memory.

So last summer after a day in the office I came back home, changed my heels into flats, put my headphones on and went slowly to that building one would never consider a church from the outside if it wasn’t for the cross on the rooftop.

I sat quietly at the back, close to the exit, while people were gathering. Felt a bit nervous, like an unwilling intruder. Had anyone asked me what I was looking for, I wouldn’t have been able to answer. I empathised with the young priest who struggled to make a coherent sentence. I discreetly left in the middle of the service and slowly walked home with the headphones back on.

I guess I was looking for something. Solace, clarity, equilibrium? A space to cleanse me from chaotic emotions? A reminder of the transience of all things I cared about?

I do believe religious buildings have a special energy which helps to balance out the spirit, but in the end it’s me who either moves towards the divine every minute of the day, with every thought, emotion and instinct, or stays on the virtual balcony with demons on each shoulder, eyes longingly fixed on the white cross as if the meadow was a thousand miles long.

I don’t need to go anywhere to find but I must keep looking.