The pillars in Canterbury Cathedral are very sturdy.
Doors on Canterbury Cathedral gate. See more wooden things at this week’s PhotoHunt page.
This tree used to stand in the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral, but it’s now been cut down. (I realise the irony of this re: my previous post about it, but such is life). It is missing and missed. I used to like looking at it.
Its stump is still in the ground, and there is still life on it and in it – growing things and, I expect, various little creatures, so all is not quite lost for my metaphor!
Other missing things can be found at this week’s PhotoHunt page – NB: It has moved this week due to problems with Blogger.
I’ve managed to have a bit more of a productive day today. I have been out of the house! I went to Canterbury for a dentist’s appointment. I don’t really like going to the dentists. I wonder if anyone does. Poor dentists. I’m quite fortunate in having a very good and friendly dentist. He is so good that I don’t mind paying to see him. Anyway, I survived the visit and then went to take some pictures of the cathedral. I took a lot of photos, but here are a few:
After I’d taken the photographs I wandered around town and then met a friend from work for tea (drink), while her baby tried to eat her glasses.
I might have overdone the frames for this week’s theme!
The photo is the middle is a door at Canterbury Cathedral. The ones round the outside, starting at the top left and going clockwise are: the Heilandskirche in Sarcow (sorry website is in German), stonework on Rochester Cathedral, underneath that is my kitchen window, to the right of that is a chandelier and mirror in a friend’s wedding reception venue, under that is the door of the Ashmolean Musuem, then a view of the bottom of the Berlin Television Tower through the window of Alexanderplatz Station. The two smaller photos are pictures of windows in British railway stations. The one on the bottom is at Paddington Station and the one on top of that is at St Pancras. The photo in the bottom left is a side door of Rochester Cathedral – I think there’s a proper name for this door, but I can’t remember what it is!
There are lots of other interpretations of this week’s theme at the PhotoHunt page.
I realised after I wrote my post about the cathedral that I didn’t mention God at all. I don’t really know why. I think big, grand things can hide God as much as they (or at least the people who build them) would like to be a show-piece for him. Sometimes it’s easier to ‘see’ God in the smaller things of life. Maybe the way I felt on Saturday was God-related, but I don’t know, and I don’t want to suggest that God is only found in cathedrals and such places.
Having recently finished reading Riddley Walker, I decided that I would go and have a look for the painting of the Legend of St Eustace in Canterbury Cathedral, and so, on Saturday morning, I did. I had to ask an elderly lady cathedral guide where it was, and almost looked at the modern copy without realising there was a great big painting on the wall behind me, but I did find it. The hart of the wood was indeed there. Poor St Eustace, he didn’t have a particularly nice life after he converted to Christianity. Good painting though. [Is this the least informative review of a significant painting ever written?]
I love cathedrals, it must be the Anglican in me. Actually, I don’t think it is. I don’t know whether it’s just the sheer scale of them, the architecture or what, but the sense of history and spirituality in a cathedral is awesome. Whenever I visit one I get drawn into it, and I feel, in a strange way, really safe and at peace. I wander around and soon it’s just me and the cathedral, the outside world is gone, the other people in the cathedral are gone, that’s it. Me and the stone and the something of people and times gone by. I think that maybe what makes me feel safe is the sense of continuation despite great change, the sense of beauty and the feeling of escape from the world outside. I want this world of peace and quiet and pattern and music and beauty.
On Saturday, after I had looked at the painting of the Legend of St Eustace, I went outside and sat in the cathedral grounds on a bench, reading a book. I thought about things, while I was reading the book – it was that kind of book (actually, it still is). It’s a love story, but a little on the odd side. I think it would be describe in TV guides as ‘off-beat’, which is not a phrase I like even though I’ve just used it. I was still feeling safe within the bounds of the cathedral and I could think clearly about the things I was thinking about. Sometime I can do this, but then at other times (like now) my thoughts are rather muddy.
There was a wedding in the crypt of the cathedral, and the bridesmaids, and then the bride and her father, arrived in horse-drawn carriages. Lovely dappled/white horses, with plumes on their heads. They were very beautiful. I like horses, but only from a safe distance. Near to me, on the next bench, a man was drawing the cathedral and the lady next to him started talking to him about where the best views of the cathedral are. I overheard their conversation. He said he was an art teacher, and he liked imparting the secrets of art to his students. Apparantly one of the secrets of art is that you should always start your picture from the top down, just in case you needed to know.
I was having a morning where everything meant something for some reason, I think it was the effect of the cathedral, and possibly the book as well. The world wasn’t just passing me by, I was a part of it. On Saturday morning I, the cathedral, the book, the artist and his picture, the street cleaner (I know I haven’t mentioned him before) and the horses, felt significant. It was like being in love with life or at least the potentials of life, what good could be achieved, even through the smallest things.
Sometimes I feel like I’m in a book and I start thinking like the characters, I wonder whether I should be worried about this.