Cathedral

 
 

"This blind man, an old friend of my wife's, he was on his way to spend the night. His wife had died. So he was visiting the dead wife's relatives in Connecticut. He called my wife from his in-laws'. Arrangements were made. He would come by train, a five-hour trip, and my wife would meet him at the station. She hadn't seen him since she worked for him one summer in Seattle ten years ago. But she and the blind man had kept in touch. They made tapes and mailed them back and forth."


In the story "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver a man who doesn't believe in much is unenthusiastically awaiting the arrival of his wife's old friend — a blind man and soon to be guest in their home for the night. The three of them drink, eat dinner and then decide to sit around the television and smoke some weed. The entire time, this narrator is finding that all of the boxes he placed this blind man in have been incredibly inaccurate. The wife falls asleep, but what happens between the narrator and this blind man is unexpected and beautifully transcendental. 

Transcendentalism: an idealistic philosophical and social movement that developed in New England around 1836 in reaction to rationalism. Influenced by romanticism, Platonism, and Kantian philosophy, it taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau are central figures. 


Artist Ambar Velasco will be submitting a new piece each week that draws inspiration from a short story that she has encountered. Specifically, she is drawn toward works from the genre of magical-realism and explores these themes in her own practice. 

Ambar Velasco