I saw him coming – which meant another argument. One more pointless rant about whatever pithy piece of drivel drove him into a frenzy today. I did not want this. I wanted to be anywhere other than here. Confronting him would solve nothing though and I absolved myself to quiet meekness in hopes that it would make this confrontation brief.
As my face slackened and my body drooped, my mind remained restless. Why? Why do we not get along? Why is he so argumentative? Why do I just stand here and take it? Why, why, why, why, why? The whys tore at me and shook at my thoughts like ripples in a cup. But I had no fight in me and, in that one moment, I stopped fighting and let my mind wander…
I thought about myself and how I’d gotten here: this cramped little space with no room to breathe, lights that gave me headaches, and not a whiff of sky. I thought about him and the decisions that brought him here. I thought about what we each did here and when we went home and about all the other lives with which we shared this sepulcher.
I let my mind drift further: the building itself, its history. I reminisced about the cars in the parking lot, the pedestrians on the street, and the one good view out of the westward window. I thought about the grass beside the sidewalk and the trees along the road. I pondered on the birds and bugs and bees that made those places their homes. I thought about the block, the road, and the town. I thought about the size of it all and the weight of all those lives.
My mind drifted out further as I thought on the commuters, the salarymen, and the hourlys living and working and moving through this city. I thought how they must feel as they moved through the day, as they moved though the city. The weight of all those lives that presses on my thoughts grew.
I thought of other cities, larger ones that dwarfed this town by magnitudes. I thought of the few that I had seen and the many more that I had only read about in articles and books written by people who lived in more cities than I could name. I thought of all those lives and how they connected. I likened them to a web of wonderful complexity that allowed lives to influence others.
My mind drifted out further and further, touching every rock and stone and grain of sand and named them each in turn. It touched all the clouds in the sky, the waves in the sea, and the trembling in the deep earth. I felt the sunshine and the moonlight in the same breadth of a moment.
I was vast.
And in that moment I understood – that’s when I realized I could control time and space. All these things touched me, shaped me, influenced me. But I could touch them back. I was not weak. I was not powerless. I was magnificent. I was glorious. I was. I am.
My back straightened and I looked him in the eyes. His manner did not change, nor his tone. But those things no longer chafed at me. I was not worried; I was not afraid. For in this moment, I was infinite beneath the wide, expansive sky.