Friday, May 25, 2007
The Convergence of All Loves
I gesture around the sanctuary and I say to my friend, Barbara, “This is the epicenter of my psychological universe.” She nods, smiling. She knows well how weird I am. The words echo off the walls and disappear into alcoves and niches. As I hear my own voice hanging in the air, I realize that the words are true, but I do not know why.
Today as I awaken from the part of sleep that is remembered, I see the façade of the church in the shot I use so often in this blog, known to me as “Exterior 1”. I read the words “Convergence of All Loves” from the otherwise blank wall of my mind: red letters, Times New Roman font. Maybe I am blogging too much.
My eyes remain closed. I free associate in perfect comfort, reluctant to rise. The façade dissolves to the interior as I first saw it as an adult in July of 2005. I had attended Mass in the basement and Elaine led me up the stairs to the loft. First I saw the Madonna, as yet without child, looking down from above the upturned crescent moon. Then I saw the scaffold, the gash in the ceiling, the shard of sun glaring through the skylight. My eyes settled on the large and angular shapes of the Jonynas windows and I began to cry. I envisioned the sanctuary intact with smaller, arched windows of amber glass and suddenly remember being there as a young child and feel the child’s emotions with a piercing purity and lack of understanding.
I think about the words, “convergence of all loves” with conviction. This is a place where my grandparents trod before my father came into being; a place where my father and aunts prayed as children. It is a place where I myself have been at an age before words organized emotion, where a sense of its sacredness was imprinted upon me through my senses.
Like Christopher Isherwood, I am a camera fixing each image in the crosshairs of my lens, preserving it for memory like the child taking temporary leave of the comb, the brush and the bowl full of mush in “Good Night Moon.”
The Cartesian crosshairs of my lens as I shoot, not to kill but to preserve, align themselves with the cross of Christ. This church represents the convergence of all my loves.
May the Holy Spirit help all to envision each of us and this house through the lens of mercy.