The View from Below: Ripon Cathedral

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Ripon, North Yorkshire, UK – April 2016

 

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Saints in the Sanctuary (Cathedral in Metz, France)

The cathedral in Metz is stunning.  Stunning.  And so are all of the saints and sinners gathered there.

“Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.”   I think Oscar Wilde said that, and I was reminded of it on a recent stroll through this cathedral.  From the saints in stone and glass, to the flesh and blood “man on fire” in the chapel, the capering kids in the sanctuary, the ponderous men, the caught-off-guard woman, and the industrious cleaning crew–it was a storied space.

Not to cast my nets on the wrong side of the boat, but I have to say that the stony saints left me a bit cold.  They were beautiful, but judgmental.  The saints in stained glass were warmer–the glow, the glint, the dancing of light in and through them–they were more dynamic, less rigid.

And the poor, scattered people, scurrying about the cathedral, or sitting in thought, or minding their own business and working diligently, or standing at the threshold of a fiery chapel–they were the stories in play, the ones the space exists for.  So I turned my camera on them.

Even the cathedral itself seemed to hint at its own impish personality as we left, the sun glinting through its windows for just a second–the unmistakable wink of a storyteller pleased with himself.

See for yourself:

 

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Man on fire

 

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cathedral wink