Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yorkshire, Place, and Faith

The Guardian has posted a wonderfully poignant little film that features Madeleine Bunting, (author of The Plot: A Biography of an English Acre), along with her son, as they visit her father's plot of land in Yorkshire--on which he built a marvelous chapel filled with his sculptures. (Unfortunately it can't be embedded here, but do follow the link.)

The mini-documentary does a tremendous job of capturing that tremulous English sense of "place" that suffuses Tolkien--a sense which is itself drenched with the mist and damp of grey northern skies. (The soundtrack is no small part of this.) It seems to me that Yorkshire is especially enchanted in this respect (but that's an effect of bias and my own sense of nostalgia for that place). It's also a reminder that the faith of England is much older than Anglicanism--and perhaps why the paganism of its tribal heritage was so well primed for the sacramentalism of Catholic faith.