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ANGELA GLAJCAR: A reflection on the installation 'Within the Light'

ANGELA GLAJCAR: A reflection on the installation 'Within the Light'

09 Apr 2015

A poem inspired and written under Angela Glajcar's installation 'Within the Light' in Southwark cathedral:

Grey sheets, they said-
like washing hanging, slightly skewed,
but far away, up there above the Quire;
like cloth once white,
now soaked in the grime and fumes of London Bridge
and murky Southwark rain-
the tired end of the day, weighted down and weary with haste and pressure
in our frantic lives.

And yet - come closer - and what shadows do we find?
Extraordinary sheets.
Long, layered patterns, silky fine in fold upon fold of strange light -
grey tone upon grey, translucence that draws the eye -
and up - amidst the lines and sweeps of monochrome.

A canopy, they say.
A covering of light and shade, through folds and mists.
A banner over me, of love.
A hammock - deep ; enveloping cocoon;
a cradling, nurturing, safe, supporting space.

And now it is a tent,
the shelter of nomads, wandering across the dessert of Lent -
an unsettling, journeying faith; a people on the move.

Listen for the wind of the Spirit to blow and, look-
it is a sailing ship in full majestic rig,
bearing its faithful crew across the sea of life,
speeding, leaping, cutting through the foaming, bubbling steeds of white,
racing the company of Spring-like billowing clouds above.

Listen for the breath of the Spirit to breathe and, yes - it is a dove.

Draw closer now and glance right up,
through worn and torn and threadbare cloth...and oh!
A window into heaven...
Where fringes of prayer form patterns
with the threaded strings of lute and lyre -
the accompaniment of endless praise, ceaselessly voiced by those heavenly creatires of those feathered
wings we have but only glimpse.

And yet - it is a shroud;
a gloomy shadow of the stony cold of death;
the linen of the tomb,
prepared and ready for the day when necessity will call - with piercing cry of pain and horror-
slicing through the silent gasp of shock and disbelief.

Grey sheets, they said - like washing hanging, crooked.
Like grime-embedded, grubby laundry left on the line too long.
Lord, draw me through the gloom, the grime, and lead me to your light.
Wash me thoroughly, and cleanse me. Purge me with your fuller's soap,
and I shall be whited than snow.

Written by Canon Gilly Myers, Precentor to Southwark Cathedral