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Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Pin It Such a coarse word, isn’t it?

I drove to work yesterday morning. The windows of my car were down, and the fresh air cascaded around me like the rushing of cool mountain waters. I wriggled my fingers in the early crisp, feeling its welcoming bite in my lungs—every breath I took seemed to spell autumn. As I stopped my car at the next intersection, my wandering eyes noticed the vacant building on the corner; it’d been unoccupied for quite some time.

As I waited for the light to change, I gazed though the makeshift chain link barrier, fashioned to keep the snooping away from the dust shrouded, demolished rubble which now lay in heaps across the weed-riddled parking lot. The front of the building had been torn away; bare wiring reached feebly from the walls, like the twisted, reaching tendrils of wisteria vines seeking the healing rays of sunlight. Torn strips of jagged metal hung like ribbons from the ceiling; while brick—once cemented mightily together in walls of veritable strength—now lay humbly in sundry piles.

This once-powerful building had been gutted, destroyed, and emptied; only an echo remained where life had once existed.

The light seemed to take longer than usual as I stared, thinking of the moments in my life when I have felt an awful lot like that old building—an interlacing of wiry thought—broken and dangling; a crisscross of metallic supports torn asunder and away, a structure of framework and walls demolished.

In a word—gutted.

However, as I gazed wordlessly through the chink fence, I could also see beyond the destruction; I could perceive something else…something deeper than that which was obvious on the surface.

Hope. Revitalization. Potential.

Like that devastated building, there have been times in my own life when I have needed a major overhaul—a rebuilding of that which is me. I can’t ever recall a time when this rebuilding has not been painful one; often those things which have been exposed to the sunlight have not been pretty. However, what has been restored has always been something of much greater beauty and value than what which was there before.

What is a life without the hope of being able to rise from the ashes of yesterday, as something far greater than what we once were? What is existence without the fervent anticipation in knowing that things can—and will—get better than perhaps they are at the present moment?

There is nothing.

The light changes from crimson to emerald, and my vehicle again lurches forward, bringing with it the cool, whispered hints of winter. As I continue my journey to work, I consider all of those things in my own life which I must rebuild.


Gerb said...

Just WOW. And YES. You didn't need a photo to accompany this post; your words created the picture for me.

Richard & Natalie said...

WOW indeed. And I agree- no picture needed. The imagery was all in your words. Powerful post.

A Lark said...

Beautiful Idea - reminded me of a phoenix.

Linn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teachinfourth said...

Gerb - The words were already there, they just had to be written.

Natalie - Thanks for reading. As I gazed at that building, those were the thoughts which came.

Janelle - I had that thought cross my mind too; especially in the vein of the most recent HP book...those who've read it will know of what I speak.

Linn - That feeling of emptiness which is so all-consuming can yet be so liberating when it is all said and done. I am glad to hear that something new is being constructed...

LauraB said...

Thanks for the beautiful post. In addition to their implications for our own lives, your words are a reminder to look beyond the raw edges and unfinished corridors of those who surround us; to tread with gentleness,and hope on grounds that hold potentialities, recognizable or unseen.

jayniemoon said...

And sometimes it takes a long time, and a few more times knocked over to feel like you're getting back to where you want to be. Nice post, J.

SO said...

Oh yes. I have been that building. And will probably continue to be that building off and on during my life. Wonderfully thought provoking and descriptive post.

Corine said...

THANK YOU! :D You knew I was gutted out and empty, didn't you? (OK, maybe not... but all the same I'm thankful!)

I've been quite in pieces and emptied out, anxious to feel whole again. I'll be reading this each time I feel this way, reminding myself that the emptiness won't last, and to focus on the task at hand and how great things will be after the remodeling. I must not think of the emptiness!

Now, to patiently press forward with faith while the rebuilding takes place...

PS. You're the best! :D

Teachinfourth said...

Laura - It's true; we all are still works in progress, and each of us is in different stages of 'finality.'

Jayne - To be honest, I've been knocked over and demolished more times than I'd like over the years, however, it's my hope that something truly better will be the final end result.

Shanna - You and I both...

Corine - I think you hit it on the head when you said, "the emptiness won't last." Sometimes, it feels that it will never end, but it really doesn't.

Thank goodness.

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