"Given The Interrelationship Between Living Space And Human Behavior, Those Who Design Buildings, Neighborhoods, Public Spaces And Cities, Ought To Draw On The Various Disciplines Which Help Us To Understand People’s Thought Processes, Symbolic Language And Ways Of Acting. It Is Not Enough To Seek The Beauty Of Design. More Precious Still Is The Service We Offer To Another Kind Of Beauty: People’s Quality Of Life, Their Adaptation To The Environment, Encounter And Mutual Assistance." ‘Laudato Si’’ Pope Francis June 18,2015
Every day I am reminded that I am travelling a road shared by many. I have been eagerly awaiting the encyclical of a Pope who is not the head of my church but who is clearly aware that we as a species need to honor all others in order as well as the universe at large in order to achieve a true love of ourselves.
I believe in a higher purpose than the elevation of my own status. I more clearly understand that I am not the creator and can only hope that my work will allow others to believe in the energy of spirit that surrounds us all but that is rarely acknowledged. In writing a promotion letter for my church choir this week I stared with the following:
I am standing beside the altar at St. Stephens, surrounded by other singers who have all worked toward this moment. We sing a passage that sounds somewhat discordant, although we sing the right notes there is an unease in the moment as harmonies come close together. In release the composer resolves to a major chord “Amen”, light floods through the stained glass above us, and my relationship with God becomes a physical experience.
It is at moments like these that I understand that channeling spiritual energy and allowing it to be experienced by others is the ultimate goal of any human creation; be it architecture, music, writing, or visual. In the quote from the encyclical Pope Francis states that "it is not enough to seek the beauty of design". In doing so we would be celebrating human achievement and intellect over an emotional and spiritual beauty that should lie at the center of our work.