Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Schwerin and Time

This blog post continues with thoughts and events that arose from our recent Baltic cruise. On our day ashore in Germany we chose to go to Schwerin rather than make the long trip in to Berlin and back. I so want to see Berlin and the museums there but five or six hours just wasn't going to be enough so we settled for Schwerin. Sometimes settling can be the right decision - our day in Schwerin was a delight. A delight and also, like most of our tours, a small torture. Everything moved so fast and all I wanted to do was slow down and really have time to look. We took copious photos and as I am going through and sorting them into a slide show I am able to take a little time and see things in a different way.

On this day need for time to think and absorb was most pressing when we were in Schwerin Cathedral. From the moment I approached the outer door I was falling in love with that church. It had to be a short love affair - we'd been given but a half hour to explore the church and the market square (which holds one of the most delightful, tongue-in-cheek, statues which tells the story of how the town was conquered for Christianity a small portion of which is pictured above). The church (12C)  holds a wealth of history within it. The floor is inlaid with countless tomb markers. Huge brass etchings hang along one wall telling the story of one family of nobles and the workmanship is exquisite! There are gargoyles and yes, a green man!, tucked into every column. Even the inlaid brickwork is full of pattern and colour and life. And best of all, with the sun streaming in the stained glass was rich and vibrant. I just wanted to sit and drink it all in, sit and think, sit and let the record of so much life and loss sink into my soul. And yet, I couldn't, time marched on and I had a bus to catch. At least I have the photos, have time now to study all the details. But the feeling of light and life, oh how I wish I could have drunk it in. I wrote the beginnings of this poem on the bus on the way back to the ship.

Strictly measured time.
Clicking rapidly through
nave to quire
portal to apse
transept? check
stations seen but not observed
fonts and tombs
birth to death
confessional gone but 
still the kneelers come
for weddings and weepings.

On the way out
one person, local,
ignoring the invasion,
reaches for a candle.
It catches,
and being caught flickers 
in the backdraft of the migrating tourists.

The stained glass dances graffiti on the clay
asking me to stay.
But I can not.

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