Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mrs. Campbell-Johnston's Wishful Thinking

When I first got to Church of the Angels last week Kelly, my guide, was finishing a conversation with friends and said I could go on in. I had never been there before and didn't know what to expect. When I walked into the small chapel I saw this window and gasped a little.

Kelly's husband, The Scout, got a much brighter picture of the window. It's posted at Kelly's blog, West Coast Grrlie Blather. Maybe the window glows differently at different times, like we all do, according to the sun. (Maybe The Scout's a superior photographer, which he is.) But I saw the the nave around me in darkness and the window aglow.

Click on the photo above to enlarge it and you can read the inscription at the bottom. The window, made in London in the late 1800s, shows an Easter motif: "He is risen..."

This is said to be one of the "finest examples" of stained glass in America. I don't know who says it, but I do know it knocked my socks off. Seriously. I was wearing socks when I got there, but I couldn't find them when I left.

Tomorrow, our last installment of Church of the Angels: the crypt.


John Sandel said...

Lazarus left his socks behind
He looked for them all day
Perhaps an peevish palllbearer
Had thrown his socks away

"It's always the last place you look,"
His father often said
He stretched, emerged and groggily
His feet retraced their tread

They weren't along the path from town
They weren't inside the tomb
So Lazarus sat down and thought
In that tenebrous room

Where could his socks have gone? thought he
He'd worn them all his life
His dear mother had mourned his corpse
And dressed it with his wife

Those were his favorite socks, they knew
They surely put them on
But sockless feet greeted his eyes
When that rabbi was gone

He'd worn them to the summer games
And to the temple, too
He'd worn them lone, with nothing else
He'd worn them without shoes

His family would surely help
They saw him draw new breath!
He thought to rise, but his poor mind
Was clogged by dreams of death

And, stumped by fuzzy puzzlings
Of sartory and home
He lost his second chance at life
When the gravesmen closed the stone

USelaine said...

Oi! I hate it when that happens.

Pat said...

I too love stained glass windows, in churches or elsewhere. When viewing very old ones, I find myself thinking how much joy and color they brought into people's eyes long ago. Contemplation, meditation...

Thanks for visiting my blog---I think the bees' disappearance is worldwide, though I see an awful lot of them around here, and all kinds of local honeys are available.

USelaine said...

That really is a gorgeous work of art. I remember someone pointing out somewhere that this particular angelic revelation was restricted to a company of women, and the future of the faith hinged on it.

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Hi Petrea - As we were outside the church chatting with Nancy and Terrie, it struck me that it would be much more fun for you to go in the church alone for your first look at the window.

The Scout's photos that I posted were taken on Easter morning of this year. The shots were for a "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" commercial (the church wasn't picked for the spot). You can tell that there is a lot of light coming in from the south, and not as much directly through the window (which faces west).

In any case, yours is a lovely photo. Thanks!

Eki said...

The dark background makes that stained glass ornaments/painting (?) look brilliant, Petrea. I like this.

Anonymous said...

Petrea, how could you lose your socks in a church?
It's beautiful all right. I can hardly wait for the crypt.

Elaine is right. And next July 22 is the feastday of Mary Magdalene, the longhaired blonde in your vitrage. Want to all band together to celebrate her day? :)

ginab said...

oh, bernie. my kind of pome.

marley said...

That is s stunning example of stained glass. It is truely beautiful.

John Sandel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Sandel said...

Legend has it the crypt is full-to-the-groined-arches with Gucci, Blahnik and Marten. (Ya gotta sock yer famous names away somewhere.) No telling if those soles e'er will rise again. Burma Shave.

Petrea Burchard said...

Bernie, Elaine--a team of hilarity and delight. Pome, indeed, Ginab and I both love it.

What about Belgrade, Bibi? Are there old churches there?

I didn't know that about the women, Elaine. I vaguely remember the story.

Kelly, thanks for the moments alone in the church. That must be rare for a non-member. The Scout must have had to get there for such a shot on Easter!

Very kind words, Eki. Thank you. May I call you Eki?

Dina, I wouldn't have known which one she was! But she deserves a party.

Thank you, Marley.

Anonymous said...


You should pick up a Pasadena Weekly today.

You'll see why on page 3. (I think it's on page 3)

Jane Hards Photography said...

It is such a beautful example of stained glass. If only modern buildng could be as exquisite.

Petrea Burchard said...

AP: I will. Thank you, sweetie.

Babooshka: I feel the same way. Every once in a while one comes upon a modern example, but it's not so often. Maybe that was true in the past as well, and only the exquisite ones survive, eh?