Frederick Franck turned to the door of the building, a massive wooden sculpture in the form of the sun and its rays, and pushed it open.I saw that it turned on a central axis, so that only one half of the door was open at any one time.To remind us, he murmured, that we step into this sacred space as we walk into life, alone and silently . . .I looked around me and marveled at this ninety-year-old man from whose hand had sprung everything I could see.He had carved the door, made the stained-glass windows and every other object in sight.Pacem in Terris, I realized, was one man’s act of artistic faith: a work of art outside the parameters of the art world, and also a religious statement unconfined by any religion.
The surfaces of the world are aesthetically uneven. You come around a bend in the road and the world suddenly falls open. When we come upon beautiful things . . . they act like small tears in the surface of the world that pull us through to some vaster space.