Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Wednesday, October 20, 2004  

Big Things

When I was a boy living in Stratford, Connecticut, I was taken to Washington, D.C.. We visited the Capital Mall where we went to the top of the Washington Monument and walked down. A long walk to a child.

We then visited the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.

I had never been in a great church, but the Lincoln Memorial impressed me as if I had walked into Notre Dame. The figure of Lincoln and the words of his carved into the marble wall around him made my spirit soar with the truths of freedom and liberty, their worth and importance.

Jefferson's memorial was nearly as impressive with its beautiful rotunda and curved pantheon-like space.

It was an awe inspiring experience of history and architecture.

But just now I have realized that all great architecture - churches, temples, public buildings, palaces - aren't really meant for adults so much as they are meant to impress children.

The Capital building is a great building as was the Senate of Rome, but imagine how many corrupt and venal men have trod its halls and enacted laws. Adults are not impressed enough with beauty, solemnity, grace, and spiritual power to carry such sentiments into practical reality and ordinary acts.

But children are impressed and amazed at greatness, at spaces that confer religious feelings of awe and wonder.

If you scroll down and look at my picture of a sterile colonnade, you will see an architecture that is not meant to impress anyone, neither man nor child with its beauty, proportions, and grace.

The loss is immense. Children depend on greatness to develop into good adults.

We see this in our school buildings, homes, public art, and modern public buildings -- nothing which can inspire a child and give wings to imagination.

Without imagination, the only thing which separates us from the animals, we become as animals, and not as humans.

It is a tragedy.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 1:42 AM |