This summer, I rode the subway to and from work every day. I had a short, 20 minute commute on the C train. Though I often spent the commute with a podcast in my ear, occasionally I punctured my routine with some music or some silence. As the subway travels underneath the city, the intermittent, forced unplugging gave me the chance to reconnect with myself and my thoughts.
In those moments, the subway morphs into a pop-up temple of reflection as I join a fleeting, ever-changing community. Standing in the pews over the summer, one of the most important things that I came to realize that holiness is a choice.
Trains are often delayed and crowded and the swelter of a summer day can try even the most resolute. Echoing DFW, therein lies the holiness. But that holiness -- or, if you prefer, that sacredness, that tranquility, that transcendence -- is only accessible by choice. The temple doors don't open from the inside: there is no one beckoning you in.
The inferno of the subway can either be the breeding ground for the sacred or just another annoyance. On the subway and beyond, holiness is a choice.
See also This is Water