Tonight, though, after all.

This morning I freaked out on M and had to go take a walk, at first I thought I was going to where the big trees grow, next to the Federal building, but I kept going and was turning around the corner of St. John’s Episcopal.  Of course.  A church; and, just like Christ the King, a courtyard.

Christ the King is a church and school that I used to pass all the time, walking or riding my bike down Belmont Boulevard in Nashville.  I took Belmont to get downtown and to get groceries at a little neighborhood grocery store across the street from Christ the King’s sports field.  One of the first secret places of beauty I discovered in Nashville — still a freshman — I walked up and there was a walkway going back into a memorial garden, with maples surrounding and flowers filling.  A fountain had a Thomas Merton quote inscribed on it, if I remember correctly, and I would go and sit there for an hour to regain sanity.  A weather-stained statue of Mary and child Jesus stood under a huge, half-dying oak.

I feel as if I’m betraying a secret, talking about these places in such a public place.  Secret places are necessary, for me, even if I rarely see them and they are preserved in inaccurate memory.  So I think St. John’s courtyard steps into my life in a time when I needed another secret place so much, a still place in the city, with a labyrinth (which I walked, oh it stills the soul) and great bushes of myrtles and bleeding hearts and rosemary.

What Rilke says about solitude is true, that a great function of friendships is to guard each others’ solitude, since solitude is such a powerful place for God to speak.  Which brings Kierkegaard to mind, and what he says about the individual having to stand alone before God.  Tonight is growing slowly into tomorrow and I had to write these down.  Just some thoughts.

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