32: Baroque candlelight
Four of us decided on a whim to go to a rather expensive Baroque candlelight concert at Exeter College Chapel. The chapel dates from the 1300’s—small and simple on the outside, with a traditional steeple at one end. Inside, there are icons painted around the bottom of the walls with what looks like real gold. From about eight feet up the walls are gorgeous stained glass, images of biblical stories clear to the top. We sat listening to the cello and harpsichord, the readings from Shakespeare (“Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments…”) and Queen Elizabeth (“I have the heart and stomach of a king…”), trying to sort out which stories were which in the glass.
We got ice cream and stood on the bridge over the Isis, and I thought I might pass out from exhaustion.
As we walked back, I said to Jack (the others had not been part of our conversation for a while), “I’m not sure exactly what I said to you this morning, and I’m even less sure about what you heard.” He laughed a little. I was determined to say my piece, “I just want to make sure I didn’t communicate that I’m not interested, because I am.”
“I appreciate that,” he said. And quietly, “No, I just heard you say that, you know, you were feeling emotional and needed some space.”
“You know, it’s like I said,” he continued, “This other thing just started, and I didn’t expect to meet someone—especially someone I had so much in common with. I’m sure you weren’t expecting to meet anyone either.”
“No, I wasn’t,” I lied through my teeth. What’s a girl to do?
Back in the Wycliffe lobby, I practically whispered, “So then, I’m like, are we just hanging out or what? And I know I don’t need an answer to that question now.”
But Jack answered me anyway. “Yeah, we should view it that way, and not feel like we need to sit together in lectures all the time or spend all our time together. You know, I just don’t know what God’s going to do with this.”
And I thought yes, in some sense that’s true, but in some way doesn’t it just come down to what Jack wants?
We sat in the common room with Simon and laughed until about midnight, when I headed upstairs. I felt oddly light and clear knowing that, officially, there was nothing going on. Like somehow I could just relax and enjoy whatever it was we had, without putting expectations on it.