Shadows in Glass

Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland

Twisted reflections

warped reflections - Haddington, East Lothian

warped tree


Through a glass darkly

These twisted swirling reflections caught my eye as we walked past Haddington’s oldest church last weekend. It’s the Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin, and has been here since 1380.ย  Because the glass is very old it’s not machine produced and so is far from perfectly flat. This is what produces such beautifully distorted reflections of the tree behind me. I felt as though I was looking into water swirling with ink, as even a tiny shift of my position sent the reflections drifting and spinning into new shapes. It fits beautifully into Ailsas weekly challenge of glass

The windows made me think of the phrase “Through a glass darkly”, which comes from Corinthians, and highlights the poor reflections of reality we see around us. If we are mirrors in which others can see themselves, how clearly do we reflect, how much distortion do we create? The happier I am within myself, the more likely that my reflecting glass will be calm and smooth, and others will see themselves reflected more clearly. When I’m angry and unhappy with myself, my glass is rippled and unclear, and I reflect that anger and unhappiness back towards others, highlighting their flaws instead of their beauty. At time the world is a beautiful, distorted and confusing place to live.

This church was built after confusing times, when in 1356 Edward III of England burnt and looted Haddington and its monastery The Lamp of Lothian, the pilgrimage Virgin Shrine at Whitekirk, and Edinburgh itself, in revenge for the Scots taking back Berwick the previous year. Human nature is reflected poorly in the history of these times past, but human resilience is clearly reflected in the rebuilding of all that was destroyed.

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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22 Responses to Shadows in Glass

  1. bevchen says:

    How gorgeous! The reflections almost look like they’re part of the windows – as if they’d been painted on.

  2. bluebrightly says:

    Very cool! Wonderful images, and words, too. Maybe you can go back and see about taking more pictures – it may be a great subject to do a series on, in different light, weather, etc. (Found you through this week’s photo challenge)

    • Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s somewhere we walk fairly regularly, but I had never noticed the reflection before. They jumped out, must have been the light that day. I will definately try some others as you suggest…different light weather, also time of year as the tree will change too ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. janineyork says:

    This is amazing and breathtaking art captured by your new Canon! I love your interpretation as well. Very glad I am following your blog! I love checking my reader

    • Such encouraging words ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m loving my new camera and am so happy you’re enjoying it too. I can capture things I could only previously dream of …and I keep dreaming of new shots to try!

  4. Anna Marie says:

    These are lovely photos and reflections and a great reminder to me to pay attention to my surroundings and look beyond the obvious.

  5. Thanks for such a beautiful image and reflection ( sorry for the pun )!!

  6. tree girl says:

    Reblogged this on under the tea tree and commented:
    greenmackenzie takes the most honest photographs I think I have ever seen, they frequently take my breath away.

  7. Dauw says:

    Looks like art-nouveau.
    You ‘ve got eye for detail…
    Amazing capture.

  8. Great post and wonderful images!!

    • Thanks for the compliment ๐Ÿ™‚ The shots were taken with my ‘new for Christmas’ Canon d650….I’m so loving my new camera. I often used to see things which I just couldn’t get a good capture of with my old bridge camera….yaay for Canon ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Wow, this is an amazing photo. Even the building itself, is wonderful, let alone the marvellous reflection you captured. Thanks so much for posting.

    • Thanks! It’s a pretty special old church, and I was originally looking for some good shots of it when the swirling reflections caught my eye ๐Ÿ™‚ next time I must go inside to see what the window looks like from the other side!

  10. westseventhfreelance says:

    I especially like the first photo in the series…what an amazing capture- the reflection of the limbs framed in such an elegant way- lovely!

    • Yes it was quite mesmerising to see….even a tiny shift in position caused a re-blending of the reflections…I love that its the imperfection of the hand made glass which causes the shapes…and it’s quite a classy frame I agree

  11. WordpressReport.wordpress says:

    Reblogged this on ร†WORK.

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