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Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE…

21/07/2012

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Gustav Jung

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Main Altar

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Main seating area.

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Stained glass window at center of main altar.

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Stained glass window

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen front entrance

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” E. E. Cummings

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE – L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen
We are often amazed when what we see outside; be it a structure, an individual, or an item, doesn’t match what is inside. What happens? We feel cheated, disappointed, shocked, and even betrayed. But, as a wise teacher once shared with a group of students: ‘Look beyond the exterior. Get to know the inner workings of what you behold. Suspend all judgment. Go inside of yourself and contemplate the facts you have gathered, and then find the good in what you see and embrace it.’ I agree. We can never predict what’s going on inside by simply looking at the outside. We must step inside and make a connection; and do it with an open mind. For this week’s challenge, I had two options; one was the interior of a market and the other was the interior of a church. L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen or The Church of St. John of Caen will be featured first.

“Inside yourself or outside, you never have to change what you see, only the way you see it.” Thaddeus Golas

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Interior left side

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Seating area and organ acoustic pipes

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Annunciation painting in side chapel. With St Joseph (l), Teresa of Avila (r) and Saint Catherine in the middle.

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Annunciation painting – a closer look.

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Side view of church with lantern tower; one complete and one unfinished.

What struck me about this well known church in Caen, France, is its history of rising, again and again, like a phoenix from the ashes of war and destruction. You see, the church, which happens to be affectionately called the Leaning Tower of Caen, (albeit for an ever so slight lean), has been destroyed at least 2 times. Each time it was rebuilt, and its foundation shored up to stop its downward pull of gravity. It was first badly damaged in the siege of 1417 during the Hundred Years War. Portions were rebuilt in the later part of the 15th and 16th centuries. During the 2nd World War, it sustained additional and severe damage in the Battle for Caen in 1944 but was again restored amid the ruins of surrounding buildings and more land/square footage was acquired to give it room to lean and be safe.

“It is important to remember that we all have magic inside us.” J. K. Rowling

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Stained glass window

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Silver organ acoustic pipes

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Image of Christ called the crucified Christ in the suffering of the city, charred remains of a crucifix in wood found in the rubble of the church after the battle of Caen

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Stained glass window

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Another look at the exterior front entrance.

“”There Is A Voice Inside Of You
That Whispers All Day Long,
“I Feel That This Is Right For Me,
I Know That This Is Wrong.”
No Teacher, Preacher, Parent, Friend
Or Wise Man Can Decide
What’s Right For You- Just Listen To
The Voice That Speaks Inside.”” Shel Silverstein

From the outside, it looks like it could use a makeover, strengthening of the structure, maybe a hose down or a coat of paint. Once you step inside, you are drawn to see its magnificence; the stained glass windows, the moldings, the annunciation painting, the interior architecture and boldness of the space. The church is 70 meters long and 22 meters wide at the nave and 32 meters wide; adding up to a 1641 m² footprint. There is a powerful presence that pulls you towards the altar, and a sense of reverence, history, and untold stories permeate the air. A partially burnt image of the Christ greets you at the entryway and then the rest unfolds; nooks, crannies, corners, windows, the silver pipes for the organ, stiff backed chairs, vaulted ceilings, cold cement, the smell of burning incense and candles, the severity and simplicity of a place where worship once was and still remains paramount.

“Are we to paint what’s on the face, what’s inside the face, or what’s behind it?” Pablo Picasso

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Image of Virgin Mary in prayer alcove – painted wood, from the door Millet and called Notre-Dame-de-protection.

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Bulletin Board

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Another alcove with stained glass window

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Another alcove to the right.

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE… L’Église Saint-Jean de Caen. Closer view of entrance

“”There Is A Voice Inside Of You
That Whispers All Day Long,
“I Feel That This Is Right For Me,
I Know That This Is Wrong.”
No Teacher, Preacher, Parent, Friend
Or Wise Man Can Decide
What’s Right For You- Just Listen To
The Voice That Speaks Inside.”” Shel Silverstein

The day I visited, it was cold and dank outside and even colder inside. There was a bulletin board with a few notices. Prayer candles glowed at an entry alcove where the Virgin Mary with child stood watch, presiding over all that came to sit, kneel, and pray for help. I lit a few candles for a variety of reasons, and walked the span of the enormous church interior, taking pictures; a shot here, another there. Memories of my Catholic childhood everywhere… When I was done, I knelt at that entry makeshift altar and quietly left through the huge wood and steel door. There was sadness about the place. Nothing touched by war ever stays the same. The outside might be worn, the inside grand, but lingering somewhere inside that interior space are collected memories of ancient stories and battles lost and won. It gave me much to reflect on; much food for thought. If you’re ever in Caen, do visit and step inside its rich past by way of the present. Then go inside and find your answers there…

Hope you enjoyed this! What are your thoughts? What photos did you share on Inside to fit the task? Was it easy/hard to find photos that supported your perspective on the subject? Were you drawn to certain types of photos for the prompt? Do share? Thank you! 🙂 😉

*Please bear with me as I continue to recover from a nasty cold and catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience! 🙂

My fellow bloggers were equally creative with their selections. I listed several via Zemanta & WP Daily Post below. (I will update it and add more). We all appreciate trackbacks/ping-backs and Likes from fellow bloggers too! Check out how others interpreted the theme – INSIDE – below. ***

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside Inside. I like to snap multiple views of something and often the inside of something is even more interesting than the outside. This canelé (a French pastry) was definitely worth photographing – I’ll remember all those nooks & crannies! Share a picture that means INSIDE to you!

Positive Motivation Tip: We can never predict what’s going on inside by simply looking at the outside. We must step inside and connect with an open mind. Go Explore.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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48 Comments leave one →
  1. 22/07/2012 1:39 pm

    Such a great post – I love Carl Jung and Shel Silverstein – thanks, Elizabeth.

    Like

  2. 22/07/2012 1:39 pm

    Eliz, loved the pics but was especially drawn to the Jungian quote you cited. Outward appearances are just that. It is by looking inside ourselves an each other that we really understand. Thanks for a great post. Miriam

    Like

  3. 22/07/2012 5:06 pm

    Inspiring church images and words coming from inside a heart of faith. Beautiful my friend.

    Like

  4. 22/07/2012 5:09 pm

    such a lot going on here…great post

    Like

  5. 22/07/2012 6:25 pm

    Wonderful post – hope your cold is better!

    Like

  6. 22/07/2012 7:09 pm

    just beautiful 🙂 & thanks for the ping 🙂

    Like

  7. 22/07/2012 7:11 pm

    Wonderful> Thank you for the tour of the Church. It is very lovely indeed.

    Like

  8. 22/07/2012 9:04 pm

    What amazing photographs of a most beautiful structure, inside and out. Love the positive quotes accompanying your post, and your blog theme.

    Imelda — previous commenter had lovely churches from the Philippines, too.

    Thank you for your comment on my photos, as well. I have to figure out how to do this ”like” button on my self-hosted WordPress site.

    Like

  9. 22/07/2012 9:26 pm

    The inside pictures are wonderful.

    Like

  10. 22/07/2012 9:53 pm

    “… interior space are collected memories
    of ancient stories and battles
    lost and won …”

    Like

  11. 22/07/2012 10:46 pm

    Beautiful images… Love them… 🙂

    Like

  12. 22/07/2012 11:50 pm

    Absolutely stunning images. You have a wonderful collection. Your message is very powerful and thought provoking. Thank you.

    Like

  13. 23/07/2012 3:18 am

    These churches are truly magnificent. Thanks for sharing these pictures together with the insightful words.

    Like

  14. 23/07/2012 5:39 am

    What a great architecture! beautiful.

    Like

  15. 23/07/2012 6:10 am

    wonderful perspectives.

    Like

  16. 23/07/2012 6:36 am

    Great work for this week theme inside my friend thanks for sharing 🙂

    Like

  17. 23/07/2012 7:26 am

    Such beautifull pictures!! Don’t you just love churches?

    Like

  18. 23/07/2012 8:01 am

    Thanks for liking my Inside post. Loves yours!

    Like

  19. 23/07/2012 8:07 am

    Beautiful series of images. Get well soon! 🙂

    Like

  20. 23/07/2012 9:14 am

    How beautiful it is! They just don’t build things like this any more.

    Like

  21. 23/07/2012 9:47 am

    wonderful ! beautiful pictures and good inspiration !so you have visited caen ? happy that you like it !!!!

    Like

  22. 23/07/2012 10:40 am

    Thank you for this wonderful tour of a beautiful place. This is really a lovely post!

    Like

  23. 23/07/2012 12:12 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos Elizabeth! Thanks for showing us around 🙂

    Like

  24. 23/07/2012 4:25 pm

    Bless you for sharing these most inspiring inside views of these cathedrals. So very helpful they are in our search for fellowship with Our Lord!

    Like

  25. 23/07/2012 7:53 pm

    That is a gorgeous cathedral.

    Like

  26. PASTOR DAVIS/MASTER TEACHER permalink
    23/07/2012 8:46 pm

    Some truly awesome photos, and you met the challenge. The mind is an awesome tool, when you put it to good use it will take you on the greatest journey anyone will ever travel. Thank you for allow us to travel this road with you and explore the depth of your God given mind power.

    Like

    • 23/07/2012 11:27 pm

      Aw ww TY for your kind words Pastor! The sentiments are mutual. 🙂

      Like

  27. 23/07/2012 9:41 pm

    WOW! Once inside how does one manage to leave? If these photos show what stunning looks like, my imagination cannot wrap itself on how magnificent it must be in reality.
    Thank you for taking us ‘inside!’

    Like

    • 23/07/2012 11:30 pm

      TY for your feedback Sunshine. Actually, it was very cold on the inside as you can imagine a space like that would be expensive to heat… The cold would help you leave… 😉 It is/was quite impressive.

      Like

  28. 24/07/2012 8:54 am

    Cool photos of the cathedras with wonderful interiors, Elizabeth

    Like

  29. 24/07/2012 12:05 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! I also agree with what the wise teacher said. Great post Eliz!

    Like

  30. 24/07/2012 12:09 pm

    Great photos! I like the quote by Carl Jung.

    Like

  31. 24/07/2012 12:26 pm

    We saw so many churches on our Mediterranean trip I lost count. It wasn’t unusual for the outside to look ready for collapse then walk in and see jaw dropping beauty. This was beautiful Elizabeth.
    b

    Like

  32. 24/07/2012 1:08 pm

    Very beautiful, thank you 🙂

    Like

  33. 26/07/2012 12:10 pm

    Wonderful collection of photos! I loved the stained glass. It’s so interesting to see the outside of this church and then the inside. :+) I enjoyed the quotes with this post as well.

    Like

  34. 26/07/2012 4:52 pm

    Stunning images of a sacred place. I, especially, love all your quotes of inspiration in discovering our inner choices and embracing them . Hoping you are feeling better!

    Like

  35. 27/07/2012 5:32 am

    Beautiful capture 😛

    Like

  36. 04/08/2012 7:56 am

    Love the interiors of places of worship. They inspire such reverence.

    Like

  37. Winnie Aurelio permalink
    23/01/2014 4:54 pm

    I truly love the interiors. Such peace 🙂
    I hope I could visit that place too…

    Like

  38. 24/01/2014 1:44 am

    What a beautiful church. The stained glass windows are amazing.

    Like

  39. lumpycloudprincess permalink
    24/01/2014 6:40 am

    The church is magnificent! I would love to go there someday

    Like

  40. 24/01/2014 10:09 am

    That’s a very beautiful church Elizabeth. I remember seeing the Notre Dame while in Paris. We weren’t able to go in due to time constraints. I know I would marvel at the beauty waiting inside.

    Like

  41. 09/11/2014 5:03 pm

    Every post I browse is spectacular. Thanks for another breathtaking share. 🙂

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside « komuter jakarta raya
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