Ready for the House and Other Places of Profound Interest

Photogrph by Jose Padua
During our visit to my family’s old house in town,
my four year old son walks up the stairs
to the second floor and notices
the crucifix that’s been there since I was a child,
then looks at the face of Jesus
and says “Daddy.”
And I remember the time I took him
to a preschool orientation
and one of the other kids looked at me
then looked to his mother,
and as he pointed his finger
at me he said, “Jesus,”
at which point the mother said nothing
but gave me a look that seemed to say
“You ain’t no Jesus.”
And though it’s been decades
since I embraced anything that
might be called religion,
I must say there are still moments in my life
when I feel something that
approaches holiness.
Like toward the end of a long, clear summer’s day
or a cold, cloudy winter’s day
when the dimming of the evening’s last light
seems to color everything
a profound shade of blue.
Or when the sound of an ambulance in the distance
fills me with a certainty
that when they reach their destination
they’ll find someone who’s sick
or knocked down and weary
but who has somehow found
a way to survive.
And what makes me feel holiest of all
are those times when
I feel entirely human.
When I understand that
I’m just a man
with a name,
a place I want to get to,
and this vague but exquisitely lovely
idea of how to get there.

-Jose Padua

Photograph by Jose Padua

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