"" bshawise: St. Elizabeth

Thursday, June 5, 2008

St. Elizabeth

I spent the past two days with my team (work not kickball) at St. Elizabeth's- a former catholic church bought by a bunch of Vineyardites. Some people (building/health inspectors) don't find the run down, old and haggard quality of Ms. Izzybeth quite as endearing as I do. They're constantly issuing pieces of paper that use words like "condemned" and "shut this place down or we'll throw you in the clink." I love this place and I'll be sad if it ever gets "restored." The stained glass glows in beautiful contrast/harmony with the chipped paint and bare brick of the inside walls. The grand quietness of the vaulted/arched ceilings combined with Norwood sirens and muffler-less cars creates a unique, holy experience. When the skies went dark at 4pm the handful of working lights struggled to illuminate the space without the help of the glowing stained glass. Something about how the inside of this old church needs the outside struck me. An exchange between the two is necessary for physical and metaphorical reasons. I'm still wrestling with what those are. Maybe one is that a church without the influence of the outside community is a dark, quiet vault of unreached/undiscovered potential. And vice versa. Maybe. Like I said, still wrestling.

Day two there was a fire across the street. Norwoodians like watching fires. Sans shirts.


shay said...

I've been to St. Elizabeth's; it's probably been 20 years, but i distinctly remember the smell of old and the way the light creeped in through those windows...

Micah said...

The fire wasn't at the Speckled Bird, was it?