Notre Dame ceiling, photo by Matt Giraud

Notre Dame

Today, after the fire that ravaged Notre Dame, this intersection of transept and nave – directly below the spire that crumbled in flames – now opens to the heavens above Paris, smeared with ash and slashed with the blue and red lights of firefight. I remember so clearly the feel of this space. There is something about a building this ancient, hushed for centuries in the focus of worship, its every edge smoothed by the touch of countless hands, that compresses time: your shared experience with a million people before you touches the eternal.

It may take that long to rebuild. But Macron is right that transcendent spaces like this are too rare and too sacred not to, so I’m heartened the world is behind him.