Monday, June 07, 2004

I had to be at work this morning before dawn and drove by St. Paul's Catholic Church, which is being torn down because the 100 year old building is too expensive to repair. The back wall was gone, was a pile of brick and rubble, was open to the air and I could see into the great vault of the empty church. The razing of this particular church building had begun late in the night, just a couple of hours before I drove past. The air was brightening, a light blue dawn, but the vault of the church was still murky with dust. It appeared as though the stained glass windows had been removed already because the windows up high, above the alter, were clear, white-blue arches. I didn't have my digital camera with me or I might have parked and snapped a few pictures because it was an eerie site, a sad sight. I'm sure countless soldiers in World War II saw just what I was seeing this morning, the insides of a church razed and open to the air, but still, all of the prayers of a hundred years, all of the baptisms, all of the glory and tears the building represents... all going, all fading into the death of memory.

What was it Baudelaire wrote... something like,

I idolize you like the vault of night,
tall woman, vase of all sadness.
I love you more since you're apart from me
and since you seem, through trickery of light,
to further fade into the miles that lie
between my arms and blue immensity.

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