From a Passion for Pavements to Medieval Scholastic Thought

A flâneur is of course bound to have a passion for pavements – those solid tracks reliably carrying her on her way to nowhere in particular.

But for a weary and dull mind there’s also the transcendental lure of banal grey pavements, when they turn into scintillating refractors of light...

There are indeed certain slants of light, in late summer or early autumn, that set pavements truly ablaze, making one’s heart jump with joyful expectation (though of what, one does not know).

The metaphysics of light... Medieval scholastics knew all about it, as did medieval architects – building Gothic cathedrals which, through their luminous splendour, could elevate even the dullest spirits to eternal truths.

“Mens hebes ad verum per materialia surgit,
Et demersa prius hac visa luce resurgit”(1)

(1)“The dull mind rises to truth, through that which is material
And, in seeing this light, is resurrected from its former submersion” (Abbot Suger of St. Denis)