An environment for waiting

Stop. Please wait until called.

Up close, the pattern of the blue and green carpet is crazy squiggles. A dizzying mess. At a distance, it appears as an appealing texture.

There’s a wall of windows in the eighth-floor waiting area, sun warming where it falls on a chair, the floor. Outside the windows, there’s an outdoor patio, empty Adirondack chairs enjoying the breeze at empty tables, nothing but sky beyond the perimeter.

When I was sick—a generic term I now use for feeling crappy, fatigued, and disconnected—I could barely note the beauty of this place. I couldn’t feel it. The large framed photographs of flowers, beautiful landscapes, sunny beaches were grating, a reminder of how badly I felt.

When Mom was in the hospital, I brought her a CD of harp music. It’s been 24 years since she died, and I still can’t stand to listen to restful harp music. It tastes of failure, smells of grief.

There’s a feeling of dignity in the design of this place, of hopefulness. Why spend so much money on it all? As badly as one may feel, it would feel worse if the waiting area were dark, cramped, worn. Adding insult to illness.


  1. What a beautiful way to describe the waiting room on the eight floor. Thank you for sharing how the feelings and emotions can be influenced by the environment. I really enjoy my monthly visit to the eight floor waiting room and I have never gone to the patio, maybe one day.

    Liked by 1 person

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