Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Roar of the City

I've lived in cities all my life, except when I was less than two or three years old. South Bend, Toledo, Columbus, Indianapolis, New York. There's something you don't notice until you get away from one. Last Wednesday evening I stayed the night in Manhattan at the rectory of the Church of the Transfiguration, because that's where my friend Rick's ordination was held. Fortunately it wasn't too hot, but even so, there's no A/C in the rectory, so I had the window open all night. I noticed something that I probably have never noticed before: the background "white noise" of the City. It's actually kind of like a roar - it's always there, even at night, and doesn't seem to decrease in volume. Because I now live in rural Vernon Township, and at least two hours from any major city, there's no city roar. I only noticed it when I went back to a city after three months away from one for the first time in my life. It wasn't disturbing, really, just , well, noticeable.



Doorman-Priest said...

I hate the quiet of the countryside. Just a city-boy at heart.

RFSJ said...

I never actually knew what the quiet of the countryside actually was! but know I know. I'm a City boy at heart too. Around here, "the City" in capitals means only NYC. I left my heart there when I moved away and still hope to one day return. But God has plans here in Vernon for St. Thomas's and me, and so here is where I am. Something to be said for that Benedictine sense of stability, too, I guess.


Troglodyteus said...

On Going Unnoticed

As vain to raise a voice as a sigh
In the tumult of free leaves on high.
What are you in the shadow of trees
Engaged up there with the light and breeze?

Less than the coral-root you know
That is content with the daylight low,
And has no leaves at all of its own;
Whose spotted flowers hang meanly down.

You grasp the bark by a rugged pleat,
And look up small from the forest's feet.
The only leaf it drops goes wide,
Your name not written on either side.

You linger your little hour and are gone,
And still the wood sweep leafily on,
Not even missing the coral-root flower
You took as a trophy of the hour.

Robert Frost

RFSJ said...


You've gotten quite poetic of late! Been expanding your reading list?