Monday, March 19, 2012

Peaceful Assembly



People need to gather.

Since the time of the cave dwellers, man has needed cooperation to survive. Societies formed to enhance the chances of survival. But man also seems to have always had the need to reach deeper - to find commonality and meaning - to wonder, to share, to define itself. The places a culture chooses to gather reflect as much about the culture as its writings and actions do. They reflect a society's image of itself.

The rituals of our lives - birth, marriage and death - are celebrated the world over in such an interesting variety of ways. From the wooded prayer circle of the Indians, through the natural rock amphitheaters of the west; from the simple benches of the Mennonites to the greatest cathedrals of Europe, the architectural expression of our innermost beliefs is fascinating.

While our specific beliefs within our little FOL community probably differ widely, I am willing to bet that the artist in all of you appreciates the beauty and variety of your local "gathering places." Right here, within ten miles of my home, there are synagogues, churches, a mosque, a Quaker meeting house.  One of our local apple farms holds an annual sunrise service on a ridge among the apple orchards, while a local camp has a campfire circle of reflection. Spirituality is expressed in so many ways. Will you share some spiritual sanctuaries with us in our Flickr pool?


      "A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates
                             it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."

                                                                                    Antoine de Saint-Exupery






20 comments:

susan said...

beautifully written post carol. i especially love your ability to reach out to everyone...all beliefs. as far as my 'gathering place'...it's usually just me and my higher power. it may be when i'm gardening, meditating, or on a photo walk. so, i guess i could say that my gathering place is not one confined place but wherever I'm feeling connected at-that-moment with the universe, god, a higher power.
i really love this post....so very much. thank you for adding a bit of 'peace' to my busy morning.

Dotti said...

Lovely post, Carol. One of the items on my "life menu" is to take a tour through New England and photograph old church steeples. I may get an opportunity to get started on that this fall when we visit Maine. In the meantime I'll find something in my archives or else go out and get a new photo to post on Flickr. This should be fun! Regardless the faith, there always seems to be something special and powerful about houses of worship.

Sam said...

Carol,

Great post. Having traveled/lived in Europe, I agree with you. The center of most towns was always a place of worship. It was amazing how in some very "poorer" towns the "church" was a place to behold. Another amazing thing was the fact that these places of worship were almost never locked...even with their rich furnishings...and nothing was taken. I guess in some places certain things are still sacred. I have posted 2 photos. One is from an early church in New England and the other is from an "older" church in England.

Deanna said...

In my photo travels finding a wonderful old church feels like a mini miracle and when I find the doors open it is even grander. There is nothing that feels more like "community" than a neighborhood church. All of life's important & bless-filled days are "church" connected....Baptism, Weddings, Deaths and everything in between.

Karen Harvey Cox said...

Wonderful post Carol. ooooh I have a few to share. I especially love the doors and stained glass windows, and the meditative quality in photographing churches and sanctuaries. I'll post them later tonight. You always inspire me. Love the mosaic as well.
Karen

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Oh Girl -- love this! Each photo has its own charm and love how you typically framed it amongst a tree.

Like you said I would suppose there are many in our specific small group with varying beliefs but I see a recurring theme in all our work and that is the appreciation of a higher power that has blessed all of our lives.

Going to look through some of my files... I am sure I have some wonderful church some where :)

Hugs GF

Judy (heyjude) said...

Love your post Carol. Very interesting. Where ever I go I am drawn to photograph gathering places. I enjoyed seeing your collection of places and will find a couple of mine to share on the FOL flickr site.

leighlovedesign said...

I am always drawn to gathering places, but rarely seem to photograph them. Great post Carol and next time I drive by one of these places I'm going to stop and capture it!

LeeAnn Melofchik said...

Carol, Love this post and the beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing your talents with us. LeeAnn

Carol's View said...

Hi Susan,
It's been a long day at work, so I am just now seeing your kind comments and your post. I'm with you - I feel most spiritual when there is kindness or beauty around, wherever that may be. But I love to see all the beautiful forms that man can create too.

Carol's View said...

Hey Dotti -
I am visiting Maine on the fall too for a family wedding! hink we'll recognie each other?? A project of church steeples would be fun! Be sure and show us your progress.

Carol's View said...

Hi sam ,

Thanks for the comments and I always enjoy your posts. The cathedral shot is amazing (I stole quick look at work). I'm going to spend more time there now. Your B/W are always so good!

Carol's View said...

I agree Deanna - So much of life has happened in these buildings. That's what moves me about them.

Carol's View said...

I can't wait to look. Thanks for your thoughts

Carol's View said...

I'm sure you do too. Your pics are always great.

Carol's View said...

Hey jude,
I just had to say that - I love your name. As I've said above. I am going to spend some time on fickr tonight. Can't wait to see what you have.

Carol's View said...

Good job - I have so many! I just have always found them interesting.

Carol's View said...

You're a doll, Leeanne - So glad you're sticking with us!

stephmull said...

Love all your shots of the different churches....each one is unique, just like each of us!!

Linda said...

I love photographing churches! The older the better! I do have plans to take some shots of my own church soon. They are so lovely!

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