Surrender, fragmentation, reformation
The fragmented stained glass windows, reconstructed with a randomicity, represent epigenetic shifts in nature. We all have a structural impermanence. Like all living beings, and all living structures of those beings, we have genetic building blocks which then are influenced by what they experience ecologically; and in response, they rearrange and become altered in how they express themselves. Nobody leaves this world the same from when they came into it; and this holds true from the first moments of being until the last breath we take in this here and now. We are everchanging beings living with continually fragmenting shifts in our physical, emotional, and spiritual anatomy. Thank you for sharing your inner workings with us, Chole.
Beautiful, Chloe, as always. I am reading this from my office this week and even though I have a pile of things that must be done, I wanted to take a moment of stillness to read your post, because I knew it would have that calming effect of slowing things down and making me reflect. And it did, like your writing always does.
I knew not the history of those fragmented windows, so thank you. I also love the little sign from Norman.
Despite the unreality and uncertainty of those 2020 months, there was something to be said for just surrendering to being still and accepting the situation. It's become all too easy to be swept back up in routine now it's 2023. This was a good reminder to take moments and sit with them. The idea of doing that with a single line of poetry is wonderful.
Your essays send me into little fits of joy. (And if you’re not already familiar with the Japanese art of Kintsugi, you will want to look it up—another culture’s recognition that to mend and repair, one mustn’t erase the broken bits. 💕
Beautiful piece Chloe.
I really enjoyed your experience with the little green fly - I have had my own similar experiences in nature, and they always serve to remind me that ‘God’ and nature and us and everything are all one in the same.
I also really enjoyed your thoughts on the window - the beauty of not making it new but of rebuilding it to bare its scars - I love it!
And as always, I really enjoyed your writing.
I also love that window at Winchester. I saw one last week which was a patchwork of scraps from different windows of different periods, tiny vignettes of a vanished whole picture. It's honest and inspiring to me.
Reading random first lines of poems is a great way to spend your time. I do this often, but I usually pick a random verse and select from whatever book seems right for the moment. Those windows, by the way, are incredible.
I used to enjoy visiting Winchester cathedral, to attend my daughter's school's Sunday evensong, but I never knew the history of that amazing, chaotic - yet calm - stained glass window! Imagine the discussions that that decision must have generated at the time, whether to restore, or remodel anew incorporating a record of that historical episode?
Yes, how quickly has the relentless conveyor belt of busy human existence resumed its pre-pandemic pace. Chloe, your beautiful, thought provoking writing always reminds me to step off, and whilst religion is in serious decline, I think its houses always induce restorative contemplation.
I have loved that Cathedral for 20 years. Now I love it more.
Up a blade of grass “all elbows” - I love it even with me not completely getting it... 🙏🏼
Thank you for your beautiful writing, pace, and the images it conjures up.
Another lovely piece of writing, Chloe. Thank you for helping me ease into my Sunday morning.
Thank you for this essay and for reminding me if a wonderful couple if visits to Winchester cathedral more than 20 years ago. Lighting a candle where people have been lighting candles and praying for over 1000 years was moving to me. Some built places become infused. Thank for transporting me to lying in the grass with a glad and questioning heart.
Where the chapel is housed is Norman. This made me smile. Beautiful Chloe, as ever. ❤️💔❤️
I'm starting to feel lost in the vastness of your Comments section, Chloe, but I will say: the random glass is spectacular. 💜🧡💙
The windows are incredible. I am stunned that they didn't replicate the original design. But it certainly works. I love Norman architecture. In Sicily, especially on the west of the island (not affected by Mount Etna) the Norman buildings, alongside Arabesque, Roman, Pagan, Spanish, Bizantine are a reminder of Europe's long and mixed history. Were so lucky to live amongst these giants.