The air is dead with offgassing carpets, cleaning products, and layering, lingering camouflage. Makeup, perfume, deodorant, shampoo, aftershave, and gum conceal souls ashamed to show their bruising. Souls afraid to own their splendor.
The light is dead as well. Unnatural light emitted by glowing tubes which draw from a source inadequate to supply true illumination. It reveals the glistening scalp under the expensive coif. It corners the man who must hide his face or else betray his sorrow.
It tells all: Charlie has combed his hair but he has not bathed for a week.
It tells nothing: This cool, reptilian light does not warm. It does not heal.
So many voices. I am at once numbed and enamored, lacerated and reassured. I escape the contrived comforts of my outpatient surgery to shake off the smothering accumulation.
I walk the property in slow circles. Goodness and mercy follow me as I gulp the sunshine in slow, steady breaths. A purple finch perches atop the rusted fence. A cow lows in in the distance. The light enters at my invitation and pools in my recesses.
I return to the well-appointed office donated by the well-appointed church made up of well-appointed congregants who trust that I am versed in the art of swallowing light.
Here is a post I wrote some time ago about an afternoon in my urban counseling office.