Originally uploaded by jon.swanson

Where do you go to hide? Or to think? Or to pray? or all three?

There is a brick house attached to the building where my office is. It has long since ceased being a domicile. It has been used for office space for various staff members and for an organization which works with high school students. Now the second story is mostly empty, with mismatched desks and chairs and a closet of old filmstrips.

This afternoon I headed over to one of these offices for a couple hours. I turned off my phone, had a cup of tea, read, prayed, and started writing on a large blank sheet of paper. (And yes, I used a couple of the crayons from the box on the desk.)

I realize that this space is a luxury. In spite of the holes in the walls and the dust and the funny looking chairs and the orange carpet, it is quiet and away from distractions even though it is only 50 feet as the wifi flies from my office.

Where is your space away? How comfortable are you being away, disconnected for a couple hours? How many crayons do you have to use when thinking on a blank page? If money weren’t the issue, what three work things would you devote yourself to? How relieved are you that there isn’t better color in this picture?

What are you thinking?


4 responses to “Cell

  1. Just yesterday…I went out to the car, in the open garage, to have a telephone conversation…it wasn’t necessarily secret, I just didn’t want comments from my peanut gallery…with our tiny two bedroom apartment, no matter where I am, even in the bathroom with the fan on, there’s no place to be alone, especially when the kids are up…and at work, I don’t even have a desk…I’m the Operations Manager which means I manage operations, I suppose, but I sit at a tiny work station and work on a computer that’s not even mine, because the one for me, that would sit on the counter is being used for another function…I don’t have an office…I have an OFFICE…that is open and “ready to serve” and yet hmmmm…where do I go when I need to prepare to serve. good question. and on another note. I love crayons.

  2. I appreciate your questions. I don’t have a place or a space. You’ve got me thinking that I do not make space for quiet, but rather rush a prayer amidst the busyness of my day. When I do have the opportunity to be alone it is spent doing what needs doing or escaping in a book.
    I am thinking about the question why.
    I think I know the answer, or an answer but I can’t dwell there.
    Thanks, Jon.

  3. My space is a couch in the basement. There is a lamp, an old desk nearby. It is the place I pray. We are doing some remodeling and have moved boxes into my space. However, I still have one cushion on the couch that is clear. In the midst of the room of thick clutter, I still have my space. It is a special place.

  4. Good questions. I like to be outside when I need to get away. My apartment is in a downtown, urban environment. I have a large veranda and I’m on the second floor, but when I sit outside there is a constant stream of traffic, voices, sirens, etc. Not real relaxing.

    So when I get away I drive 45 minutes to the mountains or 45 minutes to the beach, find a tree or a rock, and sit and read something that I don’t have to read or feel obligated to read. Usually a novel.

    I’m feeling I need to do it again soon …