Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Fragility

In a deep stone recess where spare chairs are stacked there is a cadaver. You glimpse it only when, sated with gothic opulence, you return up the cathedral steps. 

The sculptor's art has petrified the bones and sinews beneath the rotting flesh. Originally it had also petrified the figure – a medieval prelate – intact in its grand regalia: life and death lying side by side. Now only death remains in all its horrifying humility.  

And the glory of the cathedral darkens a little with this reminder that the most awesome earthly forms – whether bishop, beast or building – are skeletons in disguise.  


This week's 100 Word Challenge at Julia's Place immediately - and probably irrelevantly -  conjured a long-ago visit I made to Lichfield Cathedral. The prompt (intended to prompt pieces on horses, yes, I know!) was this picture:


14 comments:

  1. A grand, intricate and thought provoking 100words indeed !

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  2. Skeletons in disguise indeed. Very nicely done. "Sated with gothic opulence" is a great line btw.

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  3. The wonder of words....they sculpt their own art, don't they?

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  4. Damn! Him Up North beat me to it. So....."what he said".

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  5. I love the mediaeval take on death; their insistence that unto dust we will return. I so enjoyed this tiny excursion. I am wondering which cathedral?

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  6. Haunting words, especially for a paranormal author to read...

    CJ x

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  7. This is quite different to the others I have seen so far this week. Interesting take indeed. Somewhat macabre, but exquisitely written.

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  8. I love your expression - death in all its horrifying humility. How very true. Also skeletons in disguise.
    We surely are!
    Nice to go somewhere different with the prompt, too.

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  9. You can do much more with 100 words than I could!

    Spookily enough, I was rootling around in iPhoto this afternoon, and came across my own version of that horse!

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  10. These 100 words are a work of art in themselves. Very impressive writing, I love it.

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  11. rather good at this arent you! x

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  12. DancingInTheRain10 March 2012 at 23:38

    Very well done. The unusual idea and the excellent writing.

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  13. Wow! this is a powerful piece of writing.

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