Saturday, August 16, 2008
I can't resist
Having told you that I'd be posting less, I'm about to publish my third post in an hour...I just dropped in at Red Heeler Ranch to catch up with my friend Zorra, and found this most beautiful prayer written by Marc Chagall.
It reminded me that, though I always consider myself a distinctly non visual person (having grown up short sighted and with a lazy left eye to boot, and not discovering the wonder that is contact lenses till my late late teens), one of my earliest memories of meeting with God came through Chagall's work.
I've blogged before about our family friend, Renate, as the source of all sorts of literary wonders. It was Renate too, who scooped me up one day when I was about 11 and took me off on a wonderful trip that culminated with an overnight stay with her parents in Cambridge.The following morning we visited some of the colleges, and as I walked into Trinity Great Court for the first time I said to myself
"One day I'm going to study here..." (This wasn't arrogance: I simply had no idea that it might be a challenge to get into Cambridge, still less did I know that at that stage Trinity women were still several years away....but somehow in time that resolution came good, and Renate was so pleased that she had been the one to first show me the college)
The God moment, though, came earlier in the trip as we stopped at a small church in an apparently undistinguished Kentish village. I was puzzled. Church-crawling was part of life with my parents, but Renate, like many Holocaust survivor families, was determinedly atheist...even my child self knew that she didn't "do" God, so why were we stopping here?
We pushed open the door and walked into a light that was unlike anything I'd ever imagined.
Each window at All Saints Tudely is the work of Marc Chagall and the impact is completely stunning.
I sat there in stillness for at least an hour, gradually realising that the beauty that surrounded me was the faintest reflection of a Beauty I could not begin to grasp...I felt totally safe, totally happy and when the time came to move on from the church I celebrated by singing, alone in that wonderful place, the music I'd longed to sing out loud since the day I first heard it.
I know that my Redeemer liveth
At that moment, it became completely, non-negotiably true.