A creative assignment for my history class this week set me daydreaming. We were broken up into teams, and each team member watched then reviewed a different film. The assignment required that the film be either a documentary about, or a story set within, a specific time period, from after Rome’s Golden Age up through the end of the Middle Ages.
I selected an engaging film, from a televised series Derek Jacobi directed, and in which he played the starring role: Cadfael. It was loads of fun to watch, of course. But most of my classmates selected documentaries.
A part of the assignment was to answer this question: If you had to live your life during one of the films reviewed in your group which one would it be? Why? Who would you want to be? Why?
I like the idea of being involved in something that is bigger than just myself – something grand. And, my mother always wanted me to be an architect. So I would like to imagine being a cathedral builder. This would have required some education in order to engineer a sturdy structure, to withstand both the elements and a good deal of foot traffic. And no small amount of artistic ability was also necessary, to design something which evokes awe and appropriately reflects the idea that it is God’s house.
Managing the construction project would have been exceedingly dangerous work. But in the end it would have been work of substance, a contribution of lasting significance to society in service to a Church I probably would have respected and feared. And too, as builder I would have been a respected person, enjoying a lifestyle better than that of most living during the period.