I'm having some tough times right now. But there's an article in the new issue of America magazine about Gothic cathedrals, with a photo of Chartres, and I decided to cheer myself up a bit with a reprint of a summer 2007 post with photos from the previous summer's trip:
Reasons that might explain why Notre Dame de Chartres Cathedral is one of my Top Ten Places on the planet, maybe even one of my Top Five or Top Three:
1. The towers are different, asymmetrical, which appeals tremendously to my personal sense of the slightly off-kilter God in all things.
2. The labyrinth.
3. The blue in the stained-glass windows.
4. The soaring height of the interior.
5. The side buttresses.
6. The knowledge that sacred buildings have been built again and again on that same site, which permits it to claim a certain mystery of gravity.
7. The portal sculptures.
8. The choir screen, where the Wise Men look like the Three Musketeers (I think that analogy has to be credited to Rick Steves, but he's right) and Jesus forever draws a line in the sand.
9. The worn stone floor, where pilgrims have walked for 800 years.
10. (New to me) The late night summer light shows that enable us to continue to enjoy the cathedral in the context of 21st century computer artistry.
There are 20 posts in my old blog labeled Chartres.
I've been thinking that a few days there might be a really good thing about now.