The Chora is beautiful. I imagine there is some deep truth in such a place. Chora is beautiful. I pull myself back to look for the universals behind the particulars. Chora is beautiful. I find harmony throughout. Chora is beautiful.
Chora is the blending of opposites. With a name literally meaning ‘countryside’, it is now nested in the very heart of the city.
From the outside, it is a cluster of domes carrying the largest dome. Or, top to bottom, the large dome gives birth to smaller and smaller versions of itself. It makes me think of fractals; turtles all the way down.
The frescoes and mosaics inside are elegant and powerful.
The Chora is dedicated equally to Jesus and Mary. Mary is named the Container of the Uncontainable. Described in the awkwardly translated guidebook, her story sweetly takes on life. Here is Joachim “with a sign of grief and pain on his face”. After she takes her first steps, Mary is “given affection” by her parents. Later she is “seen so sad due to Joseph’s leaving.” Even later the women of Bethlehem “are seen in a sitting position and they are crying for their children” while “one can see Satan in various positions”. This feels like a story of real people.
Then, as I look into a high dark vault, I am thrown back into the long-distance frame of reference that complements the exterior’s pile of domes. An image crowns the interior of this Container of the Uncontainable. A single angel, without much expression, hurls through the darkness carrying a huge white snail that is the Cosmos. In it whirl stars, sun and crescent moon. Fibonacci again. Harmony.