Lonely Places


    I stood in the center of the room, closed my eyes, and breathed deep of the dusty smell. The room was empty, but the walls remembered, and I wondered about the lives that had passed this way, just as I wondered what would become of my own life, the thoughts and aspirations and passions of my soul. I opened the door that shut my anger in, and let the emptiness empty me. There is a strengthening, bracing solace in the memories of a lonely place and how it breathes still upon the moving world.

     Have you felt it? When you slip into solitude let the emptiness empty you, in the desolate houses or crumbling barns, or by the broken windmills, or on the silent paths in lonely woodlands. You let the solitude steal your human life from you, turn you into magic and dust and little puffs of breath–no longer human, barely living and yet more alive than the entire world, in the moment that emptiness empties you and fills you with the living and silent graces of a million faceless spirits. The ancient walls have words to whisper of scenes they have beheld. The trees’ roots are deep, and their strongest arms have held up the sky for a hundred years.

     When you sit by the river, listening to the song that it has sung for a thousand years, ever changing and yet always still itself, remember that your life is so: Eternal, forever passing onwards and onwards, always you, but always changing, carving a deeper channel in the fabric of the universe.

     You are you, but remember that you are a part of the world. When you stand in the silence, in what others would deem emptiness, remember that even places are themselves, that other feet have passed this way and other lives have revolved and spun out their threads here, passing by, as you now do. Do you leave a trace of yourself there? In your passion, in your anger, in your ecstasy and despair, do you caress or claw the grand tapestry of a place, of the world?

     You weave your print through theirs. Embrace the changing of the colors, the twirling of the figures, places, and spaces in the tapestry.

     Enter the lonely places and let emptiness empty you.

By Rachel Lianna

 (Read more of Rachel Lianna’s works at Robin Hood West)