Silent time by the glass window


Sometimes, we suddenly feel different when we change our perspective on things that used to be so familiar!

Like one afternoon, we all went up to the fourth floor of a tiny old apartment building with glass windows overlooking the Huyen Si church to hide in a small coffee shop. Inside, it was a little cold, there was the smell of grass, the deep color; outside the doorway, the sky was dry and still cloudy after the pouring rain; in front of our eyes was the spire of the church viewed from above, the scenery that we cannot see even if we pass through this corner hundreds of times. This atmosphere made me seem to forget that I was in Saigon, thinking I was in Dalat. Some of the chitchats with the cute shop owner, intertwined with silence let me have an excuse to watch the birds flying freely in the sky, in contrast to the cars that were entangled on each other on the road.

Changing the perspective is literally easy. Just try to find a new corner like me, surely you will discover many interesting things. But changing the perspective the way I want to talk about has a deeper implication, which takes time, and maybe a catalyst (a person, or an impact event that makes us change ourselves).

There was a time, I thought that silence had its own sadness. I used that silence to write down the most secret, the most lonely, the most confused, the most sorrowful things of mine. People appreciated the words of sadness because it is easy to find empathy in tragic things; it made me think I was good and I needed to rely on those silence to continue writing. But when I really tasted the period of persistent happiness beside him, I realized that the silence between people and people brings a sense of peace if people know how to appreciate them. The silence inside you can be colorful, not all dark or gray.

My silence now is very different from my silence many years ago. The way I look at sad things is no longer a pessimistic thing that can drag me into the abyss, but simply a necessity for us to achieve emotional equilibrium. And I don’t write much about sadness anymore; instead, I write about positive things around my daily life, even nonsense, as long as I’m happy. I don’t reach out for people who are floating in sadness to lean on them or to let them rely on me; but I prefer to be with the humorous, hard-working, devoted people because I’m one of them now.

My silence by the window that afternoon contained a joy because I was thinking that… next time, I would be coming back here with my lover at around 4 pm, on a sunny day, watching the sunset fall through the roof of the church and the trees. Who says living in a crowded city is not romantic? Perhaps they have not found a “glass window” for themselves.

? by Nguyen Hoang Sang

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