I know, I know . . . I promised London photos and commentary weeks ago and haven't done anything about it. As always, I get paralyzed by the scope of things and end up doing nothing. So, it finally occurred to me: I could do a little bit every day! And it only took me two weeks to come up with that brilliant idea.
So. The first photo I'm posting is St. Paul's cathedral from my seat in a little cafe across the street. Why St. Paul's? Well, because everyone kept asking me, "What was your favorite part of the trip?" and I think I'd have to say that except for having 7 days with my sweetheart of 25 years, St. Paul's was my favorite.
I can't really put into words the soaring, sacred feeling it gave me. The sheer massiveness of it is breathtaking, of course, but that wasn't really it. I think that what I felt when I stood under the dome, under the canopy of mosaics and paintings, was exactly what Christopher Wren intended for me to feel. The scale of the cathedral is clearly meant to express the transcendence of God but the art is all about God's immanence.
First, we audio-toured the cathedral with all the tourists (I was really impressed at how well the audio described Christian theology for the unfamiliar visitor). Then we went back and sat under the dome and we were quiet. We walked up to the dome itself and then we went down into the crypt. At 5:00, we were there for Evensong which turned out to be a lovely but austere service because it was a bank holiday and the organist and choir were gone. Then, on our last day, we went back to the cathedral and paid the entrance fee again, just so I could see it and feel it one more time.