6 pm on a saturday night
I stand at the open window in my second story bedroom
Listening to the bells that ring for 15 minutes every day
The wind blows into my messy hair
Still damp from the rain earlier that day
There’s barely any light left
No color left from the sunset
But still enough light to see by
Still enough darkness to be thoughtful
I listen to the beautiful cacophony of bells
They sing songs that cannot be predicted
Their echoes fill the air
Rolling into one another
I still don’t know how many bells there are
Or how many churches there are in my village
I do not know the faith they’re serving
But they’re singing as well as any angel
The bells cover up the sounds of people living
I cannot hear the man returning home across the field, opening his door
But I can see his little daughter run up to him excited
As if it’s been years instead of hours since they’ve seen each other last
I don’t know the people in the houses around me
I usually can’t see them, but i know they’re there
The lights are on and they’re living their own lives
Completely unknown to me, yet impossibly familiar
6:15 on a saturday night
The bells fade out one by one
There’s only one left ringing
It too must fade out eventually
Leaving the silence more deafening than it’s ever been
I know they’ll be back tomorrow;
They’ll be here long after I’m gone.
Who else was listening tonight?
How far does their sound go?
I am inspired by the absence of what could be,
Inspired by what I don’t know, and what I could know.
How many people were sharing in that moment with me, listening too?
I am inspired by the strength of soft bells,
Ringing reliably and beautifully,
Marking the transition of day to night.
I am inspired by the in-between of life,
and the separation and unity of human beings; the familiarity of strangers
How we can all live different lives and experience so many of the same things.
I am inspired by the future i can see in the houses around me
So many possibilities