from The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler
Harmony doesn’t seem extraordinary until you have known him for a while. He knows how to be gentle, and such gentleness is surprisingly powerful. The silence around him is lyrical. If I sit in his kitchen in the late afternoon and drink ginger tea, by the time I am ready to go home the contradictions inside my head are no longer shouting at me and trying to tear each other apart. He gives me space to be my whole self.
It may be hard to believe it now, but there was a time when Harmony was afraid to leave his house. I am not sure about the whole story. In college he was an outstanding athlete, and he won many prizes. One summer when he was training intensively, he became dissatisfied with the whole set-up. Torn apart inside, he could no longer keep his balance. He alienated many of his friends with his tirades about hypocrisy and ugliness. Frustrated with people, he took long walks through the neighboring countryside. He found sanity in the geometry of the old buildings and started dreaming about how to organize spaces in which he could feel more comfortable, thus stumbling into the profession of architecture through a back door. He has learned how to design rooms which evoke different aspects of our selves. Although he is a meticulous architect, he is no longer fussy and alienated. He can go anywhere now. Simply by being himself, he alters the current in the field around him.