Architecture As A Mirror
Architecture. A series that builds. Today, a sliver of my novel, featuring architecture as a mirror of the soul. Start here to follow the blocks from the beginning. Thanks for clicking the Cootchie.
Buildings sometimes look like people. Confronted with an ancient abbey, I met my clone, casually dropped along the back of a spurned town in England. Toothy ghosts radiated from the intact nave that remained, a visible manifestation of the possibility of the whole juxtaposed beside outlines of crumbling arches, ground down columns and punctured walls. An unbroken edifice mirroring a broken soul. I saw my reflection in its soaring interruptions of grey stone. It whispered I know you. You and I are one. I thought I could leave my shredded heart on the other side of the Atlantic, but even England prodded me with wretched memories.
I unlatched a squeaking, lichen-covered iron gate and walked to the front of the abbey, trying once more to forget, replaying my reasons for being in England. My chest constricted in time with waves of unwanted images. Tears burned the back of my throat.
Don’t cry, Amy. Not again. Focus on seeing what’s in front of you. We can witness the future if we only choose to look.
With a constitutional sigh, I scanned the unbroken wall of rock, seeking an opening. Toward the back corner, a low doorway made an enticing indention in the contour of stone. A shaft of weak light seeped through a crack at the edge of the substantial wood. The door was ajar. Without thinking, I pushed it open. A rush of cold, musty air tousled my hair, a faint hello breathing through the strands. Hearing its music, I swayed my head and studied my feet tapping on the worn stone floor of the interior of the abbey.
It was a mirror image of the rubble outside, only unmarred. Functional. Momentous wooden chairs were scattered like abandoned sentinels around the room. Light reflected from their seats of crushed red velvet. My clattering footsteps followed the broadcast of beams. At the back of the church, I craned my neck to assay the ethereal stained glass altar window, its reds, blues and yellows twinkling in the slanting sunshine, sending vibrant prisms of color into the otherwise dim, cavernous space.
Like rushing technicolor, I remembered.