Among the many thousands of things that I have never been able to understand, one in particular stands out. That is the question of who was the first person who stood by a pile of sand and said, “You know, I bet if we took some of this and mixed it with a little potash and heated it, we could make a material that would be solid and yet transparent. We could call it glass.” Call me obtuse, but you could stand me on a beach till the end of time, and never would it occur to me to try to make it into windows. (Bill Bryson)
For this week’s Thematic Photographic Challenge Carmi at Written.Inc. wants to see what we can find that is made of glass. The problem was not what to put in, but what to leave out. I decided my photographs of the beautiful stained glass windows in St Mary’s Church, Brownsea Island, off the Dorset coast, had to be the main contenders. There are many wonderful examples of stained glass, in churches and houses around the world, some far more intricate than this, but the sheer simplicity of the above makes it stand out. I especially like the Dove of Peace on the cobalt blue background. The picture was taken on a day trip to the island with some children and staff of the school where I was headteacher for a while. Inside the church the children, led by my musical colleague, sang a sweet, impromptu, unaccompanied hymn in childish harmony. Many of these were pupils from very deprived backgrounds; travellers and refuge children, with mothers escaping violent partners. Their behaviour was often challenging, but they loved to sing, and always put every effort into it. For those few moments they were little angels and remembering it now, still gives me great pleasure.
So, with angels in mind, here is a very simple, glass cherub, candle-holder, rather eerily lit from the light in the glass display cabinet. He has a casual, somewhat nonchalant air I think. I don’t have many ornaments and ‘knick-knacks’ but this I treasure; when his night-light burns he is a focus of calm and peace. I don’t have to peer into my crystal ball to know that you will find other lovely examples of glass in its many forms, over at Written Inc.