Within your walls, I’ve gone on countless wanderings. At your doors, I’ve met both family and dear friends. Is it lonely, with your halls empty, only sometimes echoing with the clicking of guards’ heels on the floor?
Your stone steps I’ve climbed dozens of times, your tall, wide halls I’ve passed through on countless occasions. As I wove my way among your statues, I grew in height, even in intellect (supposedly), and recorded my experience of your reality through pencil and camera.
Now there is nobody to witness golden Diana deftly drawing her arrow, no one to shiver at the Aztec knives and grotesquely exaggerated Oceanic sculpture. Nobody is peering into the eyes of the dead that lay in their sarcophagi, the bodies carved into wood and stone.
The outline of your Evening I have traced multiple times in pencil into sketchbooks. Now, her soft form I had once shaded goes unseen – she shields her face only from eyes of marble and bronze.
Is there no music anymore? I would imagine that the saxophone player can no longer come to your steps, playing and dancing like he did before. Where dozens of languages were spoken everyday, now there are none at all. Orchestras no longer gather on your balcony. Dancing, laughter, everything is gone.
Everything is gone.
I have only lived a fraction of your lifetime. As I grow and shrink, your pharaohs and knights will remain poised, your painted girls will still blush, and your martyrs will continue to bleed in eternal blessing.
The face of God hangs on hundreds of your walls, his glorious works you hold on display. Can I see them like that once again?