25 November 2008

once an albigensian ....

Tonight, I listened to Nathaniel Kahn, Carol Krinsky, and Robert McCarter talk about Albi and Louis Kahn at the Center for Architecture. Nathaniel Kahn spoke about the what and how: what you want to do and how to do it. One of his stories had to do with no restraints on life plans (encouraging as I face retirement and having more say in how the day is arranged). Carol spoke about the gothic as practiced in southern France where heresy flourished in the 12th-14th centuries. It reminded me, and I hadn't thought of this in a long time, how in college we were confronted with a demographic questionnaire that had a blank for religion. Being in a medieval history class, I entered "Albigensian" which turned into "Other" in my college profile.

Carol set the stage for the religious struggles as well as the architectural sources for Kahn. It being Kahn, light was of course important. She drew a parallel with the Albigensians who rejected the hierarchy of the Roman Church, seeking the light in the believer, and then mentioned that it was rather like the Quakers. As a Quaker wannabe, that also resonated. Always looking for the light.

(view of Albi, from "Sacred Destinations" site)

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