this is Earth’s heaven

( the following is a piece written by Lia Formenti, a young writer who participated in our Spilling Open writing camp last week…)

The Church

The walls stand taller than anything around, straight up, then slanting up to a center point with a cross standing atop. The bricks are aged and grey, the stone steps strong. Stained windows all around, crafted beautifully. The old wooden doors, classic and rich, creatively carved, and a statue  of an angel at each side. They sit on their knees, their palms pressed together in front of their chests, small stone eyes closed. The church gives out such a feeling of majesty, safety, love, composure, and the feeling that you are very small, but significant.

The doors of the church are opened wide and you see a vast stone hallway inside. As you walk, there are statues of God, baby Jesus, and the Virgin Mary. The art of stained glass windows astounds you, and you are left feeling smaller than when you entered.

You feel that the statues are watching you, evaluating you, you feel like you want to just yell to the Lord, but you keep walking. The peace emanates around you, but not quite touching you.

Suddenly the long hallway opens up and you are in one of the largest stone rooms ever. The windows and statues are crafted incredibly on the sides of the wall. The ceiling arches over you making a protective wall from all your troubles. Long polished wooden pews sit in 2 rows facing towards a raised platform, in which the largest statue of God stands and a large stone basin is placed. A huge red tapestry hangs down, with a golden cross in the center. This place is indescribable.

You don’t feel at peace, but yet peace is around you. You don’t feel at ease, someone is looking down on you.

A couple more wooden doors to choose from, you go straight through the one at the far end. Down a slate staircase, and into yet another stone room.

The room is lit with a thousand white candles, all around the wall. You can feel the heat from the candles, that was the strength of them. It is so warm here compared to the rest of the church. This place was magic.

In this lit room, you could hear the chanting of lots of people coming from a door at the other end of the room. It was beautiful, they were singing a godly hymn. You walk slowly past the lit candles and have your hand on the handle of the door where the chanting comes from, but stop just as you are about to open it.¬† It’s not right to intrude.

You sit in peace in the candlelit room listening to the harmonic voices of the people. You feel small, but right, in peace, but watched.

You suddenly realize you should go. It is time. So you get up and walk back up the stairs, through the larges stone room, and back down the hallway. Once you leave the final doors, you look back and see, and you realize,

this is Earth’s heaven.

church

One Response to this is Earth’s heaven
  1. David

    Lia’s writing struck me first as some wonderful literary journalism. Then I noticed the particular insight expressed in lines like “The peace emanates around you, but not quite touching you.”

Words + Photos + Credit

Unless otherwise noted, all original photography and text are property of Raechelle Kennedy. If you see or read something here and feel inspired to share it somehow, please be considerate and give the artist (me!) credit, or even better, drop me a note and make sure I don’t mind.
Thank you!

Here + There

Secondhand Sainthood and the gift of losing it all – Topology Magazine, December 2015

Ten Things Made – Topology Magazine, December 2015

Subscribe!