Ways to exit a church

This is not a post about religion or the Inquisition.  Nor about a falling-out with religion (that is, “ways to leave the church”).  Rather, there is a symbolic wall that buildings have which coexists in space with their physical walls, and which divides into two minds the man who is outside and one who is within.  As the door swings shut behind you and a) the final echoes of the sermon resound in your mind, b) sensations of sinfulness or inspiration or boredom dissolve in the sunny day and the noise of cars, c) the psychological cues of crosses, Biblical rhetoric and communion wine are left behind–your mind changes.  If these two mental states did not exist, houses of worship would not be built.

But I am talking about a specific day and a specific church, which at that time served as a house of music.  You see, Scriabin’s Fantasie (op.28) will stay with me until the death of my mind, but only because I met it in a church.  In there [in here] I held the low, descending left hand phrases which suggest a fall into madness, the impossible loveliness of the main theme–but all this was chased out by the hard outdoors light, tourists flocking to the portrait gallery, pigeons and sandwiches and coffee–so my brain said there you have it, that’s it, the experience is “over”.  I put it in a jar, and even though I emerged from the cathedral with a certain mix of sensations affixed to that discrete experience, the very act of putting labels on the jar indicates that you are no longer in the experience.  Hence, the importance of these symbolic walls.  Label a jar “lightning”, and you have lightning whenever you want.


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