17 March 2010
Through the Sea of Steps
One of the most memorable moments during our visit to LA in February was an afternoon we spent at the Getty Museum walking through an exhibit on the Photographs of Frederick Evans (1853-1943), a brilliant artist whose principle work was on the many medieval cathedrals of England and France which manage to evoke, more than any photographer I can think, a stunning and profound relationship to architecture's mission to help bring awe to the experience of sacred space.
In the four weeks since returning from LA, I have returned to Evans' "Sea of Steps" over and over again--in the book, in my mind--and especially as we move through time into the month of Nisan, celebrating the Exodus from Egypt and the story of our national redemption by crossing the parted waters of the Red Sea.
Albany continues to crumble it seems; Israel-U.S. relations remain this week in crisis; but quietly, it seems, the President and the Democrats are putting together the votes for health care reform. Though hysteria remains beneath the surface for many, I marvel at the deliberate, plodding nature of this legislative battle reaching its conclusion this week. It may be that we are about to witness a controversial but monumental achievement, which has the potential to teach us that despite every tool in the partisan, political, media arsenal to stop it, the votes may be accumulating to make its passage a reality.
It will have been achieved via a Sea of Steps. Like many of life's great challenges--both personal and grandly epic--there is often, ultimately, only one way to go from here to there.
One step at a time.
For all the drama that has threatened to derail or destroy, one must give respect to the plodding, slowly evolving, strategic work required to cross this legislative sea.
And it's critically important to remember that the goal of goals, all along, has been to provide affordable health care to those in this country who do not have it. An admirable and worthy goal.