Saturday, June 29, 2013

A True Beauty

Written by Karen.
From a distance, the Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel looks like the shiny aluminum ribs of a metal animal that has languished in the high desert sun long picked bare by scavengers, or the evenly-spaced metal ribs of a large and unfinished boat.  In any case, the architecture of this chapel is unusual and dominates the sprawling and manicured Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Today, the weather brought quickly changing wintery greyness and moisture-laden clouds interspersed with cold, crystal blue skies with puffy white clouds.  Each shift in the sun, chill, wind, grey, blue, overcast, and rain changes the mood of the chapel. The tips of the 150-foot aluminum chapel spires alternate between feeling cold and foreboding as if a series of upwards piercing daggers were eagerly waiting for the command to rip, and a deliciously delicate and ethereal impression of a row of paintbrushes on the ready to paint the sky with a series of con trails. It was hard to get a feeling about the place: was it just architectural eye candy, or was it a genuine building of beauty and soul?

It is only when I walk through the large doors and enter into the oddly-shaped space and saw the kaleidoscope of colors from the one-inch thick colored glass placed between those tall aluminum spires bouncing around the walls, ceiling and floor, that I stopped and said, "Wow!"  

It is not a secret that I love glass.  The embrace of color and light, shape and shadow, transparency and opaqueness - all wrapped up into different ornamental and artistic objects and visions - can bring me to tears. This place stopped me in my tracks. 

And, then suddenly the large pipe organ boomed out behind us on the second floor loft, filling the space already dancing with color and changing light with the magnificent musical sounds of the processional for Maria from the movie, 'The Sound of Music,' a particular favorite of mine.  A woman whispered to me, "This doesn't happen very often.  They are rehearsing for a wedding." 

I didn't move a muscle, afraid that I would jinx the organ practice and the overwhelming beauty of light and sound would cease.  And it did after a few minutes, but those few minutes of unexpected color, light and thunderous sound all mixed up together into a serendipitous and glorious whirlwind of artistic majesty were some of the most beautiful sights and sounds I have ever seen or heard. 


Gustav Burkard said...

What a moment to absorb and treasure - your vivid description allowed me to partake in it as well. THANKS for sharing, and those pictures are superb! Stay well, Gus & Cam

Anonymous said...

Very nice! Steve S

Observers of Life said...

Thanks Gus, Cam and Steve! :)


Anonymous said...

Karen, this is a beautiful chapel
and you are so lucky to see it in
person. Nina