I’m extremely late with these photos of York Minster but better late than never, so they say…
Anyone who has been to York feels the presence the Minster has over the city. Whenever I’m there, I subconsciously set my inner compass to point in the direction of the Minster – not that I’ve ever had to really tax that inner compass too much, I haven’t gotten lost in York for a while – but I think the point is well understood. The enormous and grand Gothic structure is hard to miss, and being the second largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, it’s quite the tourist attraction. Even for those of us for whom religion does not play a part, it would be impossible to not appreciate just how magnificent this building is.
I was one of those ‘tourists’ in July, even though I long since qualified as a true tourist: I’ve lost count of the number of times in the past I’ve visited York, strolled past the Minster, seen it from the distance, been inside, taken a photograph of it… I could go on. But this time, I allowed myself the indulgence of getting up reasonably close – as many shots as I wanted – to my heart’s content. (Well, no, not quite, I suppose – there was always someone waiting for me to be done with it.)
Thoughts now as I look back at these photos… I’m struck by what they reveal, I think, what they confirm to me. I don’t mean the obvious i.e. that I like buildings, although that much is true. What I am referring to is: the preference for details over big picture almost all the time (really, I need someone to pull me back to the wider angle almost all the time); no people if possible (as I said, the place was teeming with tourists, but I managed to avoid including any people with my shot selection); a desire to be up close although the exterior is often enough – no need to go inside (I’ve felt this way about many of the buildings I’ve ‘met’. OK – that was a weird sentence. I’d better quit while I’m, ah, I’m not ahead now am I? As I said, revealing.)