In Perilous Times


November 9, 2015

In Perilous Times

The Frank Lloyd Wright calendar hangs askew on your cubicle wall, the citrus skylights of July turning right angles into August in an attempt to create unity on a Tuesday morning when you’re wearing stripes and your socks don’t match.

Your feet rest on a coil of cords that tangle dangerously under the desk and your coffee cup sits too close to the keyboard without a cover. You shoot a rubber band at a window not meant to open. It’s eleven in the morning and you’ve already eaten lunch.

These are signs that we are living in perilous times.

The office roster from last November is barely current, but who cares--?

Maybe if you just calm down, your heartbeat won’t get crushed in the locking desk drawer. Maybe if you just breathe, your keys will stop jangling in your gym bag.

Five stories below, a lone biker dips his handlebars across the yellow-taped expanse of empty asphalt where the dangling freeway holds a shredded ribbon of a bridge, flayed steel, burst joints, crumbled concrete puzzle pieces spread along the shore of the Mississippi.

You’ll relearn the view by what is absent.

We all will, this year.

You put on your headphones to block out the silence and listen to the music of a bluegrass band from Duluth.

Notice how that fiddler plays a tune that is crazy, and beautiful, and wild.

Notice how it softens your bruised and tender heart.


Photo "Chair and Cubicles" provided by Matte, via creative commons license.

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