glyph 577: quest, art and reverence, hope, vision, inspiration, learning . The Golden City by Henry Hope Reed . Minas Tirith, Tolkien ... classical architecture
I dreamed once of a library, a place of learning. It was just below me, around a curved path, a building of pillars and columns, an open courtyard like the Hippodrome in Byzantium, but it was learning, not chariots in my dreams, arches and domes rose and surrounded me. It was gray, late afternoon, the wind chilled, dark clouds low and menacing, barren trees around me, dry leaves in suspended flight passed by in dream. Nary a sound, I went on, turned and there I saw, more than just a place but a sanctuary, a vision, pulling me in, another time, not ancient, but far back, maybe high Middle Ages. In awe, I had never experienced such wonder, a rush of coming joy, a quiet pleasure, my mind at ease, at home, relishing in the continuum of tradition.
Most dreams flow out of us, long forgotten, just a tremor or memory of unease, of fright, or rarely, some kind of joy. I think of that dream, that library, that setting almost every day, over 40 years I search for this place, wait for that turn of corner and to arrive home. Sometimes you get a hint, the classical, the quest for the White City, the photos of the Chicago Exposition, the shell of Ancient Rome, St. Paul's in London or museum Island in Berlin, even in just a glimpse of San Francisco or a turn of the Chicago River as eyes go up to towers, of a time when the builders and planners used the classical to make their impression for all ages. I close my eyes and dream of Constantinople, the great city before the Turks, before the burning, desecration and destruction. Think Minas Tirith in Tolkien's final chapter in the Lord of the Rings.
Do the purveyors of modern art, or more directly, those modern architects that leave all trace of the classic behind, do they ever wonder why the search of and the breathtaking wonder of the classical stirs such emotion in us? Why it has endured for thousands of years and still can inspire such awe. Surely they see this? I remind myself to reread 'The Golden City' by Henry Hope Reed. I have sent so many copies, I feel like an evangelist of his. I hope that it be read and not forgotten.
To those who seek to please and replicate the beauty of God in all forms of art, to always seek and to forever search to find and discover something higher then themselves, you will see all the glory and beauty of the centuries of our heavenly pursuit. That in this yearning to be close to God in art, you will feel His touch and His light will be upon you. Reach to find heaven and you will fill your soul, achieve that in art and you will leave a blueprint for generations that follow of what is good, of why we are here, of what is to come after.
September 4, 2017