September 1, 2019 by Darren Clarke
“Want me to light it up?”
Thursday morning I was driving over the Niagara Street bridge in St. Catharines when the Ukrainian Church, tucked away behind the highway sound barrier, caught my eye. I had passed by this Church a million times in my life and never really took the opportunity to turn in and check it out. Thursday though was one of those gorgeous late August days that invited whimsical left turns into unexplored places.
Shortly into photographing the outside of the church I was approached by a man, Roman, carrying a small, yellow rimmed, wheel, who greeted me and asked, “You want to see what it looks like inside?”
Inside turned out to be spectacular. I was immediately in awe. And I have to confess that when it comes to my photography- I choked.
When I first entered the church was dimly lit. That’s the point where Roman offered, “Want me to light it up?Roman hit the lights. The full splendor of the Church was revealed.
The art work was at once, densely woven, epic (i.e. the chandeliers), overwhelming. Whoever conceived of it could easily have gone awry into the world of tacky and overblown but instead their vision was realized in a kind of transcendent wonder that bloomed into the absolute best kind of spectacle.
I so badly wanted to spend hours in that Church silently drinking in the riches of gorgeous art work that filled seemingly every inch of the building. To take pictures from a myriad of conventional and unconventional angles. But that wasn’t the arrangement.
So Roman and I briefly chatted about the current state of the Church in general and specific, interspersed with me gazing around the Church, snapping a few shots and repeating, “Wow.”
At some point in the near future I am going to look for a do over on taking pics there but I did want to share the few remotely decent shots I got while at the Church. It was one of those great moments in life where I was reminded of the gorgeous possibilities that lay outside my experience and within my reach.
Like I mentioned, I’ve driven past this place a billion times in my life. I’ve known lots of people who attended this Church but I had zero idea about the abundance of beauty that lay within.
Here’s to all the wonders we’re all just a left turn away from discovering.
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