Ceiling of the Chapel


While there were fewer periscoping phones surfacing above the crowded sea, the talkers were as pervasive as ever, babbling about their dramas and feelings. I was too polite to shush or give them even a backward glance, yet still flummoxed to complain about their noises on the walk along the Mission back to our car after the concert.

“NO!” one girl was shouting at the other, over and over, every 4-6 bars, in various shades of incredulity and disbelief, each time a deeper respite about something — sounded like a challenge, the kind of “no” you reserved for problems of the ego. Something she was either unwilling to do or unwilling to condone.

Every time, every concert, every venue, nearly every song. Blabbering about anything but the music. What did I expect, from all the drinks and haircuts and startups and disposable experiences?

And then I looked up.

And there the night sky appeared under the ceiling of the chapel, reflecting into the eaves and beams a pathway to just how earnest anything could be, even an artificial annular eclipse.

I was equally flummoxed by the symmetry of the ceiling.


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