Art that endures is art that crystallizes a fragment of the human experience and distills for us an aspect of our nature that is known by every heart. Art that endures communicates beyond words, is not bound by culture or time, but touches a place in us that is both universal and eternal. It doesn’t teach as much as it allows us to remember. And what we remember comes back to us like a beautiful song, long forgotten.
When we enter a church, mosque, temple or cathedral, we enter a place that allows us to remember the genesis of that song. We enter a space that exists around us, and at the same time compels us to go deeper within. We enter a space that engenders a sense of awe that enlivens our soul and rekindles our memory of its Source. We are reminded that we are in the Presence of the Creator.
The beauty and majesty of medieval churches and cathedrals can be described as “art that endures.” What we feel in the twenty-first century as we enter those spaces is akin to what was felt by those who entered in the twelfth century, and what will be felt by those who will enter in the years to come. What is crystallized for us is our awareness of That which is so far greater than ourselves. What is distilled for us is our awe of That to which we are eternally connected. What is remembered is the knowledge that I am That.