Sunday, November 12, 2006

Saturday morning in Victoria, British Columbia. Pale sunlight on pale green grass; the houses and the day have a bleached look.

Present sounds: a flutey note from the bus engine, a quick ticking in the ceiling, rising and falling pneumatic cries, a raspy mechanical exhalation, crickety creaks in the seats, a vibrating metallicism.

I am now standing in line in the foyer of St. Andrew's Cathedral, awaiting my turn for confession. There are some things I need to move past, some feelings of guilt that I want to clear away. I've written down what I will say - it will be brief. I find I communicate best in the written mode; introverts prefer to weigh their words. For me, the advantage of writing over speaking is that it gives me time to pull out my deepest and most considered thoughts from the depths of my brain.

Behind me a woman whispers prayers; I hear the silent clinks of rosary beads. Outside, AC/DC plays from a passing car. The person in front of me glances at my PDA.

30 years old - hoo boy. This life is moving fast. I remember hearing a conversation behind me several summers ago: "I'm 30 and I've never felt better." "Me too." They sounded a bit unsure, afraid but putting on a brave face.

I was once the prodigy among older faces - the young man in his early twenties working alongside the elders. That is no longer the case. Now I see in my face the face of my father, the face of my mother.

I am one person away from the confession door. There is a heightened sense of nervousness among us at the front. But we've all done this before.

Now I'm at the front.

Done. I can live an open life again.


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