My shift in focus at the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the art of stone (at Bryn Athyn)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

For a few years now I've had the privilege of writing a monthly photo-infused column for the Philadelphia Inquirer. The intersection of memory and place was my thing—essays that ultimately formed the core of Love: A Philadelphia Affair as well as a six-month display at the Philadelphia International Airport. 

But this year I've shifted my perspective. I'm thinking about the conjunction of art and humanity, community and hope, enduring traditions and endurance. I've written about the history of ice skating in our city, as well as my years at the Philadelphia Skating and Humane Society. I've spent time with the musicians who perform (so gorgeously) once a month at St. John's Presbyterian Church. And a week or so ago I visited the two stone masons who are restoring the Bryn Athyn Cathedral, finial by finial. They had much to say about seeing (and believing in) that which is not yet there.

At a time when communities are endangered and art is excised from proposed federal budgets, it is up to us, I think, to embrace and support those who quietly go about making, creating, and restoring beauty—not for personal gain, not for notoriety, but because something deep within them stirs. This is the kind of beauty that I will be writing about now, for as long as I'm given the room. I am blessed to share today the photos and words that arose from one windy day on a timeless campus.

The link to today's story is here.


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