A house is being built across the street. They’ve been at it since last May, and to say it’s loud here for 8 hours a day, including some weekends, would be an understatement. This morning they’re sawing stone. They’ve been sawing stone for weeks now, months maybe,
for my entire life!, and while the workmanship of said stone is spectacular and the dozens of workers are certainly skilled artisans, the noise is wearing me down. Until recently, all of the stone has been attached to the house in some way (front walkway, chimney, etc…) but now a massive wall is going up and, as I’m determined to keep my sense of humor, I’ve taken to referring to my house as Rome, and to calling it — this giant house with it’s giant stone wall — The Vatican.
In this morning’s news, I see all the Cardinals from around the world have finally arrived at the real Vatican to get ready for the conclave. Since the Pope decided to retire, the Vatican and its goings-on have been top of the news everyday, its even front page news at The New York Times. I wonder what other religions think of this, of all this press, of the constant photos of the gathering Cardinals in their red caps, because certainly none of those other religions garner this kind of press coverage.
As for me, I keep wondering why they can’t vote from afar, of the cost of flying in all those Cardinals, of the untold amount of work and particular preparations, of the special stove they’ve installed just for this one event, for smoke signals, of the complex apparatus they’re building inside the chapel to keep from being eavesdropped on, of the abuse cases in the wings, of tradition and majesty and men in power. Of the Vatican wall.
They’re building a giant stone wall across the street. I hope they’re finished soon. I don’t know how much longer I can take the noise. When it’s finished I know I’ll forget about what’s been bugging me, that even though I’m on the outside of the wall I’ll admire the beauty of the stone and remember the workers who built it. If you look closely at the right side of the photo, you can see a stovepipe rising. I hope it’s for more than blowing smoke. I hope it’s a pizza oven.