Announcements / Notes on the Skyspace reopening - by Kimberly Nelson
Notes on the Skyspace reopening - by Kimberly Nelson
When the Skyspace reopened in our Meetinghouse recently, I thought of architect James Turrell’s words during a PBS interview in regard to his work: “I'm interested in having a light that inhabits space,” he said, “so that you feel light to be physically present.”
Our present Meetinghouse was built before I began attending, but I’ve heard people talk about the challenges in the building process, reminiscent of birth pangs. I imagine when the SkySpace first opened, it was like the birth of a long-awaited child. It brought us joy for a number of years as a work of art, a perceptual gateway into the stillness that is so central to the Quaker experience. (In fact, my first introduction to LOFM was meditating while viewing the Skyspace.) But then it became apparent that this “child” was “injured” – the Skyspace had sustained damage and needed repairs. When it reopened, it was as though a precious child had experienced long, painful rehabilitation and was returned to us, whole and reborn. What joy and relief!
The Skyspace creates a space of such surreal beauty that I always welcome the sight of the occasional bird, which anchors the physical reality for me. But then, without that anchor, perhaps it is easier to transcend thought, the noisy kind of thought that interferes with stillness. The Skyspace at sunset reminds me that change is the only constant. When I’m looking through it, if there are no clouds, the color changes are so gradual as to be imperceptible from moment to moment, and only become apparent after a few minutes’ gazing.
I looked and looked. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this magnificent expression of Turrell’s vision and that of many others who worked to make it manifest. As I experienced the Presence of the Light, tears welled up and overflowed.