The Chartres Labyrinth

The labyrinth is usually covered with chairs. I timed this around being here on a Friday when it is exposed. It was probably built as a way for the large numbers of pilgrims to calm down from the excitement of having completed their journey. I walked it, although I had to pass around a mystical lady barefoot in linen palazzo pants (no passing lane). The guy version would at least step out the way when he did his “directions” meditations (every time he turned a corner). In a way they really missed a point- pilgrimages are not just individual journeys, they are communal. We strangers who moved through the path together, adjusting to each others’ speed (and width) might have been doing it right. Like the old lady Kent saw wobbling on cobblestones & helped down the stairs, the NY teenager who showed us how to validate tickets or the cluster of Parisians on the bus today who decided what stop we should take even though we hadn’t asked, pilgrimages aren’t just about the individual, they are a group project.
Having drawn a part of the labyrinth yesterday I knew what I wanted to photograph- how it fits into its space- I see the cathedral as an organism, so this part can’t really retain all its meaning separated from the whole. I wanted to see how the builders fit this circle into the rest of the floor. It is rough, pitted, the center bronze panel stolen in the revolution.
You don’t have to go this far to walk a real one- Oklahoma has a very beautiful labyrinth of our own- the Heart in the Park.






One Comment Add yours

  1. Mary Ellen says:

    Glad you got to walk the path…..

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