La Cathedrale
(The Cathedral) by Rodin - Musee Rodin, Paris
Reflections on Rodin's La Cathedrale

Though they must be

      the musicians' paintbrush
      lovingly caressing their instruments
      enticing forth from wood string construction
      aural enchantments offered as sacrifice
      to the rhythm of the universe,

it is not that.

Though they must be

      conductors of technologic alchemy
      of brain and machine
      commanders of robotic wizardry
      and conduit for connections
      between cyber sorcerers and virtual goddesses,

it is not that.

And though they must be

      the lovers' tenderest confederates
      exploring the labyrinth
      of their beloved's topography
      pressing flesh unto flesh
      to penetrate the mystery of Cupid's wound,

it is not even that.

It is, rather,

the resounding hush in the
      silent pick-up beat
            heard by the inner ear
before lush harmonies conceived in soul pour out;

and it is

the kinetic crackling of
      immobile energy
            between firing neurons
before impossible idea is born into thought;

and it is even

the pulsating stillness
       between heart beats
            felt in anticipation
before lovers' swollen skins brush rare transcendence;

Ah, this art, it is all this,
the invisible clearly exposed, captured in

that void
space appearing empty
the infinitesimal chasm
where the hands nearly touch
and the sculptor and sculpture is finished.

in the vacuum occupied by the heavens
eternal souls reaching beyond mortal husks
in tormented search for their own
meet in joyous re-membering,
communing, co-mingling, expanding briefly
into all the minions of creation

to be eternal dance...

    to be the word...

         to be


              be still.

          still...    and know

    knowing...      that I am God

perfect love.

KGM 12/99
Rodin was a highly original sculptural genius but he openly acknowledged his indebtedness to the artists who had preceded him; the masters of ancient Greece and The Renaissance; Phidias, Donatello, Michelangelo. He was also intensely interested in Gothic art, the cathedrals of France. After viewing and studying the magnificent cathedral at Amiens he felt that the basic inspiration came from the voices of nature, from the trees with their strong limbs reaching upward. In the two right hands with fingers arching together he probably thought that he had discovered the source and inspiration for the gothic arch, that arch which with repetition and expansion led to the creation of the superb gothic cathedrals. The hands are obviously those of separate individuals. A spiritual communication between the two is expressed but the fingers and hands remain slightly separated. Could he, through that separation, have been expressing the aloneness of all human beings, the desire for a complete unification which is never realized?
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