Two photos, one in the hotel parking lot and one in the parking garage at the St. Lois Arch indicate I have a certain parking preference. Is it an indication of being too attached to stuff or of taking care of things. Maybe it is both/and, and not either/or, as are most things in life. At the St. Louis Arch the trees were lovely, but most else was “under construction,” many walkways were taped off, and the two reflecting ponds were empty of water. Does everything – and everyone – always have to be under construction? Doesn’t anything or anyone ever get finished? I tried to stand right under the arch and look up, but got dizzy. The only way to do it was to lie on the ground. Give it up! No one else is doing that. I am 65 years old. Oh, what the heck! Not a good photo. A better photo would be of me on my back taking the photo. Maybe someone else has that one.
On the way to buy my friend a St. Louis mug at Starbucks, I just happened on the Old Cathedral. The Old Cathedral is the oldest building in St. Louis, the first cathedral west of the Mississippi. I smiled as I heard mom Mississippi spelling two ways, “M I double-S I double-S I double-P I,” and backwards, “I put pepper in Sister Susan’s eye, she said I mustn’t.” I was taken by a statue of Jesus and Saint Margaret Mary and I lighted a candle. The cathedral has been “under construction” too, but this one in this 180 year old worship placewas not as irritating to me. Removing the carpet from the floor revealed a beautiful maple floor, with a wide crack right up the middle of the center aisle. All the wood in the aisle is original – except the need-to-be-wider replacement plank right up the center. The split up the communion aisle reminded me of the veil in the Jerusalem temple that kept the people from God and God from the people. That veil split in two at the moment of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. God and people could get to each other easier and more directly through Jesus. It also made me think of the split (discussions/arguments) in our Catholic Church over who should walk up that communion aisle to receive communion and who should not. Maybe right down the split during the sacrifice of the Mass walks everyone – everyone to God, God to everyone.
The difference between the words renovation and restoration – renovating and restoring – intrigues me. In 1959 “decorative campaigns” the church was renovated. Today it is being restored. Restoring means removing the paint from the wood of the communion rail, removing the carpet from the wood floor in the nave and from atop the mosaic tile of the sanctuary floor. What was under that carpet and paint is beautiful. Give credit to the paint and carpet, however, for helping to preserve it for now. What would it take to restore ourselves and our worlds to original beauty? Removing the paint and carpet that has been layered on as time has passed, but what else? Why do these two words intrigue me so? Mass was at 12:10 p.m., so I stayed and sat in the front row to enjoy the floor, rail and mosaic. After Mass I gave $5 to a woman sitting on the street corner asking for money to buy some food, then spent $20 for a beer and a ribeye sandwich that was not very good, and then smiled to but passed by another woman holding a sign for spare change. Go figure.
I will offline and off the road for a few days. No blogs for a couple days. My mind will still spin, for sure, but I am giving up the compulsion to record the spinning in this format.