Thoughts from up by one of our cathedrals.
Long morning’s lecture over I walk around in the unexpected February sunshine, along by the Victoria Building end of the University. Not my usual end, so there are surprises along here. Like a good stationery shop where I stock up with favourite notebooks for us both. The pleasures of writing things down by hand.
Sarah’s for her marine biology and associated sea kayaking, and mine for writing this and other field notes, if that’s what I’m calling the thinking I do nowadays?
Lunch is the usual University choice between the competing corporates who seem to co-own the place. Wondering, as usual, why? In a city of brilliant cafés, why do students get no choice beyond these commodified cost centres?
Anyway, twenty minutes of barely adequate obeisance to one of them later, I need to be outside. Up the steps and on to the Piazza.
Where I hardly ever come.
“A new main gathering place for all of the people of Liverpool to come together” I remember being told, when we were all brought in on the diocesan school-bus trips to see the model of the new Cathedral. Very early in the 1960s this.
Well I’ve never been to any main gatherings up here since it got opened in 1967. Or even walked across this plateau more than, maybe, a dozen times in my life.
The wide open space being, in fact, the architect’s pragmatic use of the use of the basement roof from another cathedral altogether, that was thankfully never finished.
A story I’m not going to tell today, as I’m up here to appreciate perfection.
Nothing, of course, being absolutely perfect. But on the right day, in the right light and at the right time in this observer’s life, well thank you Frederick Gibberd, architect.
I’m not, mind, going to tell you the story of him either. Not today. Because I’m not here to tell stories, only to be here.
To appreciate the place, the day, what I’m doing with my life and how I feel at this moment. About the light and the shade of it all, the shadows and accidents, the beauty of such a moment. The perfection of now.
Up here on this plateau, where I hardly ever come, appreciating perfection. This will more than do.
Appreciating the light and the shade of it all.