Defiance and Determination Motivated by the Gift of Creativity
Hurtling south bounddown the railroad towards London, with ‘Big Yin’ (Uncle Brian) I shared with him my desire to create a panoramic photo of London, and I suggested that the ideal way to do this would be to climb up to the Golden Gallery on the roof of St. Paul’s Cathedral. (The symbol of survival)
My aspirations to climb to the Golden Gallery were met by a look of disbelief followed by a sigh, and the exclamation; “Wee man, can you nae find some place a wee bit mere less drastic tae tak yee photo?”. Perhaps he was right, You see the ‘Big Yin’ was looking at the problem of how in the world he was going to somehow drag a wee scamp like me, with limited mobility up the 259 steps leading to the Golden Gallery.
I knew before the climb that all the odds stacked against me to make it to the top. That’s the burden of living with a disability, it can often feel like “a thorn in the flesh”, but it is when I feel most burdened that defiance and determination, motivated by creativity and faith in the Creator and giver of life, takes over, giving me the stamina to strive ever upwards in the face of adversity, for he says “my strength is made perfect in weakness”.
The Ascent Begins
The next day, sure enough we arrived at St Pauls Cathedral, and as we both stood beneath the world famous dome Big Yin’ started pointing up to the shaft of sunlight piercing through the top of the roof saying to me in a firm and sensible voice. “That right up there wee scamp, is the Golden Gallery! Are you sure that you want to climb up there, and that you’re not been a tad ambitious?”. My gaze then drifted up towards the top of the dome where ‘Big Yin’ was still pointing, and by golly he was right, it seemed like it was a mile up! but, after a moments hesitation I turned to him and said, “Ok I’m as ready as I’ll ever be! Lets do it!”, and with that, ‘Big Yin’ let out a long and awkward sigh of dismay.
Up In The Whispering Gallery
We soon reached the end of the first phase of the ascent up to The whispering Gallery where the secrets of the wall not only provided us with a little entertainment, but also a small respite from the climbing. Although photography was forbidden, before we headed towards the stairwell leading up towards the Stone Gallery, shooting from the hip, I rattled through a dozen or so frames on my camera in an attempt to capture the splendid view of James Thornhill’s artwork on the underside of the dome. It was now time to venture on over to the stairs and up towards my end goal up on the roof!
In order to keep these blog posts bite sized, I’ll pause here at the Whispering Gallery leaving you with one of those sneaky photos I took of Thornhill’s artwork whilst shooting from the hip with my camera. Please do join me in my next post as we continue the journey on and up to the Golden Gallery at the Top of the roof of St Paul’s Cathedral.