Excuse me a moment. I feel the need to indulge. Voorhees is my home again and I want to express what that is like.
These bricks are blasted by tumultuous age and I wonder who invented the brick. I wander in that thought, knowing these bricks have rested for many a year. Innumerable stories inside the walls, every room a different chapter in different books. There are shared settings that associate themselves across timelines gone and not yet begun inside this hall; this hall that breathes with broken-clock air that grandmothers must steal to scent their homes. This hall which stands and towers, frightening to the unfamiliar - but home to the nonfrightening. We are the hermits, the hiders – We are the livers, the talkers, the doers. We are the Voorheesians, the Yotes as well, yet flavor seeps out the bricks into every inch of carpeted space. That indigo hue says not disrespect but age. Not like wine, no, but like a tree that reaches and twists and turns and moves away to something different but the same. A constant in change only, like all things, Voorhees Hall is a lighthouse to the wanderer and found alike. We ramble, in that we share things as well.
These rooms are individual hermitages, but we are unafraid of contact. Simplot Hall, as I recall it, was a noisy kind of isolation from self and others. In here we are silent and calm. Tranquil is the air. Perhaps something stirs in that indigo carpet. Or the grandmothers did not steal these scents but instead traded it for peace and prosperity. Voorhees breeds a kind of solemn greatness in the neighbors I see come here. I have never had a negative interaction in the building, but for by accident and mishap. We are understanding and governed, civil and free. There is a beauty in all this that escapes my full comprehension.
Voorhees itself is a nugget of a larger donor, someone spread across the country many years ago. Are these seeds universal? Are all the Voorhees Halls across America a kind of towering monument for the seeker of tranquility? It is probably coincidence, yes, but I want to believe. There is a magical quality to these corridors and chambers: Where the stories of the past are all present here and now as markers in the walls of any room you have the chance to visit. You can see the old stories, sometimes carved, hidden, or not physically apparent at all.
It is fun to imagine the moments of the past and the moments of tomorrow. Some call this place shambled and broken, but I am simply reminded of a Leonard Cohen quote:
"There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in."
Austin Kirkham is a Senior creative writing major from Meridian, Idaho