Empty. Apartment. Quiet. All quiet. Excepting the airplane flying overhead, the swallows in the tree outside my window, and the unobtrusive sound of the refrigerator. All quiet.

I thrive. I energize. I figure through my head the thoughts which have been waiting to be thought, wonderings which have been wondering when they, too, could be wondered.

Now is a good time, I say to my reflection in the mirror as I wash my hands. Now is a quiet time.

Now is a time I can think about Amy Lowell and her poem about the Madonna and a garden, about Luigi Pirandello and his six infamous characters searching for an author. Now is a time I could process more thoroughly what it means to live in the Land of the Living. Now is a time when I could rework my budget, figuring which things must be cut out, figuring which things must be counted in. Now is a time I could just sit and close my eyes; it's only eight-thirty, after all, and hardly time for bed. Now is a time when I could search for more internships, fill out endless applications, all the while praying that the two I really want will want me just as badly. Now is a time I could process the new events of Valentine's week: five good friends, all in my immediate circle, suddenly find themselves with Valentines of their own and so, once again, I find myself on the outside of that immediate circle and back to just God and me. Now is a time I could call home and talk to people (if only I weren't out of cell phone minutes again). Now is a time I could open the Bible that is only read for twenty minutes in the peak morning through eyes still blurry from too little sleep and too much reading.

I decide against them all and decide that, save for the five minutes it took to write this, now is the time to complement the quiet. Two quiets sitting side by side on a porch swing, drinking iced tea, and staring at our toes.


February 2006