Monday, July 20, 2009
Back to Reality - but not before a short side trip down memory lane
Well, and it was "hit the ground running" today.
Tonight is the first chance I've had to put the events of the last two weeks into perspective. Images are still emerging and thoughts are coming together.
I'll be writing more on this later, no doubt. Right now, I'm enjoying the memory of the one morning I played 'hookie' and went to The Getty in LA with two friends who were visiting from NY.
It was wonderful. What an amazing place!
There was a sacredness about it - the architecture, the reverence for the creative art in a variety of forms: sculpture, bronze, paint, landscape.
It was one way to hallow the gift of creativity and imagination that has its source in The Holy One.
It was just the right antidote to the craziness of the schedule of General Convention. But, we had no idea of the Balm in The City of Angels that was awaiting us.
This is the Roman Catholic Cathedral in LA. Interestingly enough, it's one of the top five tourist attractions in this amazing city.
I'm no fan of modern architecture, but this one had so much integrity, it was astounding. It is not hyperbole to say that I was awed.
Clearly, this is a holy, sacred place.
The above is a picture of the walk-in baptistry which was near the narthex.
There is a beautiful progression of a tapestry of saints - ancient and modern - which the artist created from photographs of 'real' people.
You can see the altar in the distance.
All around the walls were these angel sconces - all in various poses and with different facial expressions.
Some were dancing. Others were frowning. One was in a full belly-laugh. (The picture I took of it was too blurry to reproduce.)
I LOVED them - especially the one in full belly-laugh. I even went to the Gift Shop, specifically looking for him. Alas, none were on sale.
This is the Paschal Candle in front of the baptistry, with a picture on the back wall of Jesus being baptized.
I found it a very compelling rendition.
This is a reproduction which hung in one of the alcoves of the church. I sat before it and had a lovely meditation.
The altar is also very compelling. I couldn't get the shot I wanted - the one from the altar straight back to the baptistry. It was breathtaking to see the baptismal font and the picture of John the Baptist and Jesus.
Interestingly enough, there was no outward and visible sign of the Incarnation - no manger scene. Not even a statue of Blessed Mary. Not in the sanctuary, anyway.
I know. I know. It was a Roman Catholic Cathedral. Why didn't I go to "our" Cathedral? Because I wanted to see THIS Cathedral, is why.
Never mind. It was a wonderful couple of hours away from the church as institution to visit a sacred space for art and the church as holy space.
It's one memory I'll treasure whenever I remember the 'blur' of exhaustion and politics that was General Convention 2009.