Monday, May 25, 2009

5/24/09 - Memento Divino

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine rises above us, massive and elaborate, every inch of the facade covered with visions of the apocalypse and a multitude of saints. Where other cathedrals may soar and yearn to the divine, this one seems to want to pull the divine down into it with it's sheer gravity, as though a sizable enough gravity-well was all that was needed to bring down the Godhead to our plane.

We wander through the incredible space, past pillars thick as redwoods and probably taller, past dozens of side chapels, each with their own light (this one multicolored and lush, that one all washed out in white and gold), when suddenly the chorus begins to practice for the evensong service. Kevin and I pause to listen for a while as they start and stop through various songs, their voices rising and swelling until the entire space is filled with sound, and Kevin says, "I think I like this better; when they stop you only get little bursts of divinity, and anything more would be too much."

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