I remember when I suffered through a wannabe-goth phase in middle school. Needless to say, reminiscing on how desperate I was to purchase a black Nightmare Before Christmas hoodie to stomp ever-so-rebelliously through my El Paso, Texas, middle school’s halls brings slight chills to my spine, as well as a few chuckles now and then.
The reason for this embarrassing anecdote? When I realized historians consider the Basilica of St. Denis near Paris, France, the first true Gothic structure, I couldn’t help but ponder my own experience with the Gothic subculture that would probably be referred to as the medieval period of my personal history.
If I learned anything in art history, it would be that Gothic architecture possesses a grand tympanum (that half-moon shaped structure above the main entrance full of religious figures), vaulted ceilings, pointed arches, flying buttresses, the forever-funny sounding filigree, and yes, stained glass to vitalize the dark interior. Actually, I remember learning that stained glass symbolized the immaculate conception…the sun’s light hitting the stained glass resulted in beautiful colors dancing within the seemingly impenetrable basilica, similar to the Virgin Mary’s immaculate nature and ability to create beautiful light for the world by giving birth to Jesus.
Since several years have flown by since my middle school years, I’ve (thankfully) grown out of my wannabe-goth phase. Not that anything’s wrong with being Gothic; it’s just not for me. I embrace color, and enjoy mainstream music every now and then. So, when I visited St. Denis a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat like stained glass thanks to the multicolored scarf I wore that day. Though much less luminous and impressive than the stained glass and massive rose window, it elevated me to an evanescent sensation. And that, I am thankful for.
Scarf – Primark
Coat – Zara
Gloves – H&M
Have a blessed week!
Yours truly (and recently confessed),