When I hear the word resilient I often think about great architecture, structures that have endured centuries of natural and human destruction. The Colosseum, in Rome, is one of these fabulous structures. It was built between 71-72 and 80 AD as a gift to the Roman citizens. Over the centuries it suffered great damages due to natural phenomena such as lightning and earthquakes. By the 20th century, a combination of weather, natural disasters, neglect and vandalism had destroyed nearly two-thirds of the original Colosseum, including all of the arena’s marble seats and its decorative elements. And yet, following restoration efforts, it still stands majestic and continues to be a leading attraction for tourists from all over the world. I call it resilience!
“For every path you choose, there is another you must abandon, usually forever.” (Joan D. Vinge)
In 1998 sculptor Robert Graham was commissioned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to create the monumental bronze doors which would serve as entryway into the planned Cathedral of Our Lady of Los Angeles, the first major cathedral to be constructed in the United States in the new millennium. The Great Bronze doors were installed in May, 2002 and the Cathedral itself opened to the public in September, 2002. I wasn’t able to photograph the doors closed but the various shots give an idea of what they look like.
“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in” (Leonard Cohen)
With Christmas approaching, I remembered this extraordinary Nativity Scene (Presepe), in the Duomo dei San Filippo e Giacomo, the Cathedral in Sorrento, Italy. Part of the Nativity scene inside the main doors of the cathedral is on display all year.