Sunday, January 4, 2009

Colored Light

Washington's National Cathedral is an imposing landmark that I can see from way off across the river. Inside, all is calm and yet all is a riot of color. Hundreds of stained glass windows illustrate scenes from the Bible and events from the history of our nation. Created over 87 years, the windows range from painterly Edwardian masterpieces to swirling modern abstracts. All of them work in harmony to pour colored light over the walls, the floors and the people. Sometimes the light is a crisp mirror image of the shapes found in the window. More often the light transforms the columns and arches into tie-dyed extravaganzas. I stand, washed in the colors and letting them soak in, hoping that they reach that place inside where all the ideas start.