A Simple Beauty

By July 1, 20102010, Europe

Here I am today in Venice, there I was yesterday in Ravenna at a Byzantine church from the 6th century. We’ve been moving now for three weeks and we have five more weeks of moving ahead of us. Moving, moving, moving, it’s such a large part of what we’ve been doing on this trip. You have to force yourself to calm down and contemplate even in the midst of constant motion. It’s challenging at times to have an epiphany in a thirty minute window. While this is very difficult to do at times, there is also beauty in moving from one thing to another. If it were up to me, I very well may have stayed in Barcelona for weeks or even months, but forcing me to move so quickly forces me to engage my surroundings critically and quickly. On our recent trip to Assisi we only had a couple hours to see as much of the city as we could in the time allotted. We started on the west side at the basilica of St. Francis and one of the main things I was wanting to see was the original cross of San Demiano which was at the basilica of St. Claire on the east side of town. The basilica didn’t open until two, which was also the time we were supposed to be back at the bus. Rather than sacrificing this chance to see this artifact of St. Francis’s life I decided to take the risk and catch a glimpse. I waited outside the church till two, dashed into the chapel that houses the cross, knelt before it, said a brief prayer, ran back to the bus. Even though this encounter was brief, it left a sense of simple beauty on the experience. All I remember of that church was gazing up at the cross for just a moment and that’s all I will remember and that’s all I really want to remember.

Hudson Doerge

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.