The cool relief I felt leaning against his stone-cold-frame on a Saturday mid August. His warmth from the sun laid prisms in the halls through stained glass windows- through me- on a Frost bitten February morning. I felt my depression ease, his purpose take place within my own mental state.
He taught me to keep aware.
Hugged by his spiraling staircases, I felt secure within his mass. Borded by his twelve-foot-doors, fourteen foot windows, eighteen foot ceilings. Comforted by his stance exuding an admirable confidence. Proud of his intent- built for royalty – built for the “insane” actually, in 1872; a time more kindly engineering than today.
He taught me to keep humble.
The kitchens smelt of freshly baked peanut-butter-jelly crumb cake. Burgers on plates the size of your face- shoved into my face left me swollen and sleepy with an irregular heartbeat for days. The bar’s aroma wafted black liquorice, ginger and mint, overserving me like a gluttonous Queen.
He taught me to keep generous.
The many rotating faces of erratic emotion or internal dread already known or accidentally bumped into – to befriend, comfort, and confront day-to-day. Henry held my hand through the many anxieties and animosities of social interaction and urged me to seek sincerity and authenticity instead.
He taught me to keep compassionate.
Navigating him became a subsequent flow of repetitive turns, bends, and motion. I became fluent in his language, his map, his less traveled stairwells and doors- all while making sure not to trip into an armour or beam- one of his many giant legs. Running pillows to a western corridor where the broom I needed for another wing – a ten minute task to complete- was waiting.
He taught me to keep patient.