I walk along the sturdy benches – neatly arranged, equally spaced, straight and equivalent in every geometric sense. The chapel had a strong sense of symmetry bound to it. The crucified son of God was dead center on the wall, with blood dripping right onto the middle of the floor. The altar, pedestal, candlesticks, books – everything seemed to follow the rule of thirds, perfect – as if they were just waiting to be framed by a skilled photographer. “It is picturesque”, I tell her. “Precise and in place. Look at those benches. So straight, it hurts my eye.” I chuckle, and rub my eyes in feigned pain.
She gazes at them for a while, nods as if to agree. But she hasn’t. Her disagreements aren’t always vehement, but I have learnt to see it in her eyes. I remain silent, arms folded. She leans in to me, sensing my withdrawal. Turns and kisses me on her tiptoes. “They are all nailed to the floor, dear- with iron. They aren’t free to be moved, and so is everything between these walls. Even…”
I don’t let her finish, kissing her deep to a pause. She looks at me, sad but calm. I take her hand. “Let’s … move, out.”
-Sr Ja (26/07/2016)