The Faunce Steps: “The Climb”

I can almost see it
The dream I am dreaming
But there’s a voice inside my head saying
“You’ll never reach it.”

Each step takes one on an ascent toward the pinnacle of Brunonian civilization. One that houses the strength and determination of each and every student on this campus. The experience is daunting. Anticipation and fear abound. We await arriving at the structure in which we find countless visions of the Brown experience: the muffins, the hydration stations, and the perfectly labeled receptacles for rubbish. The study groups and the student groups. UCS. Even the cathedral ceilings in the noiseless Leung Family Gallery cannot contain the work ethic, the unconditional love, and undying passion of each and every student.

Indeed, Faunce House, yes, houses several aspects of greatness of our fine university that take human form in our students. But this is not complete oneness. Indeed, we are not whole. Indeed, we are scattered between three disparate levels. Some here, some there, like a bag of strewn M&Ms all over the living room floor after at 10 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday. Bold in color. Stale in flavor. Handfuls are grabbed from a large bowl, yet some inevitably fall through the cracks of the greedy fat man’s hand.

The irony is that the truest manifestation of human greatness is not what everyone hopes to reach, but what transports them there. The ultimate utopia, however, is the Faunce Steps.

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

We are the steps. We start off as separate blots of paint on the paint board. Steadfast in our convictions, all of which inevitably vary from those of the next individual, we are alone yet strong. We are spaced out evenly on the board, craving contact and interaction. The steps are the canvas: a springboard that allows for the swirling of colors to take place. Monet’s Impression: Sunrise. The masses of humanity on the steps exude a likeness that yields an exquisite whole. The sun, while offset by the cerulean swirls in Monet’s masterpiece, shines down on those sitting on the steps. It shines on the impression of oneness. The reality of oneness. It radiates. It smiles. It approves.

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby

Up close, we are individual brushstrokes. From afar, we are as one. We masses, rushing, congregating, like the crusty branches of a tree. A bold, native tree, filled with history. A history tree. A history tree whose roots touch all corners of the earth. A history tree whose trunk is wide and whole. A history tree whose branches are free of white sandwich papers, as its inhabitants are respectful and know better than to litter. Instead, on these branches grow whole fruits and berries. Each different in their tastes, shapes, and sizes, these disparate fruits come together on the steps to become one luscious, delectable fruit salad. A fruit salad that begs for no accompaniments but love and joy.

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

We make our way to the top, up toward the structure that is the anchor of campus life. But we must not take for granted the journey. It is one that should not be rushed. It must be thoroughly enjoyed. Each step taken is a feat; one large step of Brown-kind. Taken together, the steps are the cutting board upon which the fruit salad is made. The fruit salad is the sleeper, the underdog, the one that people often reject for the Martha Washington Fudge cake… but the fruit salad is always more satisfying.

Brunonian greatness is the Monet piece. Perception is reality. Reality is the history tree. The history tree bears sweet Brunonian fruits. The fruits come together as one. On the steps.


It’s all about, it’s about
the CLIMB.


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