The Agony and the Ecstasy


Let me start with the kinder gentler part of the day:)
Just to start things off, let me tell you I finished the Endpaper Mitts last night before toddling off to beddy bye.
I started my morning out going to visit one client in the Balto metro area, then hit the gas station for my next client visit some 50 miles away and raided the bank account to take another client out to lunch (sorry John – I’ll expense it). Anyway, I got lost in the far reaches of District Heights, LOL:) and ended up getting the GPS to show me a way through Bethesda – with D.C. in between. As I’m driving along I realize that I’m on Massachusetts Avenue and my next turn is for Wisconsin Avenue. Hmmmmm, isn’t that the neighborhood of the National Cathedral? But I’m not dressed for church. I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt, no makeup, hair all greasy, having just had a “catch” with a teenager with autism. And boy I did not look great. But as I passed by, I noticed most of the people who were touring there were dressed not much better than I. So… I couldn’t resist. I parked the car nearby and went in. I am so glad I did.
Funny thing, ex-Catholic me – I went to the coolest chapel – and it turns out to be St. Mary’s chapel- and lit a candle:) saying a prayer for someone I was moved to pray for. The National Cathedral is a beautiful piece of art in its own right. As it turns out, there was this amazing exhibit, called Dreamers & Believers – Cathedral Builders. It was fascinating and also, strangely enough, very very moving! There were pictures of the ground breaking in 1907 at which 10 to 15 thousand people watched the first piece of earth dug from the spot with a silver trowel (currently on display) and listened to President Theodore Roosevelt give a speech. History of the building up through World War II when construction was slowed, up to 1990 when it was finished and President George I and spouse were present.

The music of the Cathedral Choir played in the background (did I detect some Lauridsen???), and provided a moving backdrop to a touching experience. And the most touching parts of this Exhibit were the pictures of the everyday workmen and women who provided a labor of love in its construction. The stone masons were particularly exciting to see. And the gargoyles! What a hoot. There’s a hippie gargoyle and two caricatures of some of the stonemasons/artists. There were pictures of men who worked on its construction in the 1930s, being encouraged by the then Bishop. I found myself drawn to a picture of two of the men, one with his arm around the other – the taller one black, the shorter one white. In 1936! Cool!

Many crafters and artisans participated in this now century-long project. Women from around the country provided needlework for the altar cloths, the carpet runners, kneelers, you name it. One woman – I think her name was Schacher??? Schuchter? or something like that – learned needlepoint when she was 60 years old and for 25 more years provided some 30 pieces of needlepoint for the Cathedral. How’s that for a second career as a volunteer?
In total, the National Cathedral was indeed a labor of love, made possible by huge private donations from across the country. Woodrow Wilson’s remains are in a sarcophagus (for want of a better word) in one of the side chapels. There is a piece of moon rock in one of the many many stained glass windows. Tapestries line the walls of one chapel at least and the woodwork, stone carvings and other pieces of artwork are breathtaking. But it is still the Cathedral of the people, brought into being with love and hard work (and what loving thing isn’t hard work at one time or another?)
If you live near or are going to be in Washington, D.C. any time in the near future, I heartily recommend a visit to the National Cathedral – and this Dreamers & Believers exhibit. It made my day, anyway:) Seriously, I had a hard time holding back my emotions.
Then home, which was fine. The good news is, John is off from the hotel tonight. The bad news is, I am fed up with my stupid &)(*&)(*& phone and am waiting for Sprint customer service. I have had this Treo 700wx that has yet to properly sync with my laptop and it’s been 6 months of not getting any help from their customer support. Finally someone got on the phone. It ended up I was supposed to uninstall Outlook and Active Sync and then reinstall them. It still doesn’t work AARRRGGGHHH!!!!! A lot of money for something that doesn’t work properly. (Insert appropriate word-you-can’t-say-on-TV).
So I guess I’ll continue to use a paper planner and next time I’ll just get one of those phones that’s just, well, a phone – or maybe not, LOL:)
Well John’s home – he brought dinner and I brought the wine, so I think we’re set:)!+
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Author: fuguestateknits

Wife of one, mother of six, gram of five (so far) and lawyer for many young persons, I love to sing, read, knit and walk. My politics are somewhat left of Marx and I want to hear what you think, too!

2 thoughts on “The Agony and the Ecstasy”

  1. Have you gotten your phone fixed yet? I was thinking of getting one of them and I’ve been with Sprint for several years now, but if the phone and the service suck I’ll change networks. Thanks, helen

  2. No fix yet – because I don’t have three to five hours to sit and wait by the phone. In fairness to Sprint, I’m really starting to think it’s my laptop that’s the problem.
    Oy….

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