‘Simple In Virtue, Steadfast In Duty’
‘A Sunday Place‘
…just one of many, many places that god might be found today…
The view up to a stunning vaulted ceiling in England’s York Minster.
Justifiably lauded for its architecture, it was the complex symmetry of it all that left me dazzled.
Like this segmented design ,radiating out from the centre of the ceiling like a star, or a flower, then falling down smoothly to enfold the equally beautiful arched windows.
I am a bit of a sucker for symmetry, as some pictures elsewhere on this blog will attest.
As a religious house it is well nigh perfect.
But, there was the nagging thought in my mind that it was a grand, and failed, attempt – it was made by imperfect humans after all ! – to capture a universal spirituality that is at times:
A statue of Mary appears to float within an arch on a church wall in Barcelona.
There is of course a small ledge on which the icon sits,but it is a neat trick of religion to create images and symbols to inspire, and to aspire to.
Apart from the prayerful pose and purity of her robes,the Madonna levitates above the ground, but is well below heaven.
Someone to look up to, or just another struggling seeker?
Fifteen candles on a candelabra in the sacristy of Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia, which I was fortunate to visit yesterday.
Very elegant in a gothic sort of way.
Sort of complicated too, for an article whose sole purpose is to shed a little light on things.
But that is religion in a nutshell I guess…
Still on my travels in Britain.
Yesterday, on a whim ,we took a detour on the way south to the city of Lincoln.
The town is dominated by its breathtaking, ancient cathedral.
This picture of the roof highlights the structural spine of the building.
To me it appears somewhat like the skeleton of a fish.
Regardless of religious persuasion ( if any ), we all need a spiritual backbone – something that holds it all together for us on our meandering life journeys.
A spine, a touchstone, an anchor.
Something firm and certain,no matter the detours we take!
Eighth and final post in this series of religious and spiritual places.
Late afternoon light illumines this old inner city church.
Factoid: Terrific Gothic Revival stylings ,replete with gargoyle faces.Do love me a bit of good gothic! Took this one while hanging around before a rock gig round the corner(New Zealand’s own The Chills in fact).In a way music concerts are like church services,the band and the preacher just the same,whipping up fervour amongst the believers,getting their message across any way they can…..
…and in the ongoing series… Number seven, all good people go to heaven(not sure whether that qualifies as a factoid…..the theologians amongst you can debate!).
Anyway ,two for the price of one this time. A tower, a spire, a flag, a weathervane – symbols galore in the fading light.
The fifth post in a series of religious and spiritual places…
Factoid:This picture was taken in Penang on a 2012 trip to Malaysia.Stumbled upon it,not that you could have missed it.
Unbelievably ornate architecture, spectacular colours and figurines of deities and animals, in stark contrast to some of the previously posted more simple examples. Combined with the aroma of joss sticks ,this is a sensory explosion! The hands down winner in this lineup for employment of symbols…
The third post in this series….this time the sweeping beauty of a Buddhist temple.
Factoid: I had cause to visit this place a year ago. You can light an incense stick from a candle and make a prayer offering at the altar near the entrance. I burnt my finger in the process. Let out an undisguised and pithy expletive in the close presence of a monk. Hastily apologised. She smiled and said “That shows good self-awareness”. You have to love those who see the positive in anything….
This is the first of a series of posts where I have photographed places of religion and spiritual belief buildings .Not that I regard myself as religious, but we are all spiritual. The use of symbols and styles of architecture always intrigue and interest me.
Factoid:Tucked away behind the simple wooden church is a little hall where I sometimes meet with others of like mind. Curiously, it has nothing whatsoever to do with religion but there is a spiritual bond there for sure.