The Cathedral

Katedra was written by Jacek Dukaj and turned into a short animated film by Tomasz Bagiński. Our challenge was to watch the film and give our own interpretation of it. At the end, we would compare our stories to what the real story was behind the film. Tell me what you think!


Father once spoke of the Holy Lands and the Great Cathedral that was built from nothing. He used to speak of the mysterious disappearance of those who travelled there, never to return. Those who entered the Cathedral were dying or sick, searching for silence and serenity.

Destiny, Father said, is what called those men and women there. All those who wander are not lost. 

Father was called foolish; there was no such thing as destiny. Our people do not believe in these stories – at least, not anymore.

Yet here I stand. It has taken me days to find this staff. It is the one that will guide me to the Cathedral. It was strange; it seemed as if it had wanted me to find it, as if I were destined to take it. As it were, Father has long since died.

Unworthy, he gasped. I am unworthy. But you, you my son... you will find your way.

So here I am, at the end of all things. I stand atop this colossal mountain, my home indiscernible below.

Darkness is life, but Light is...

Before he died, Father warned me of Light. In our home we need not fret for we were protected by Darkness, but being here is a dangerous game. As Light disappears I turn to face the Cathedral. A beautiful yet frightening sight; the Cathedral raises into the sky, the center piece of the archway, a small figure, giving me a chill down my spine. The doors open, as if calling to me.

I enter the structure, the staff opening the doors, no windows in sight; of course the Cathedral would have no need for them. The doors close behind me and a light flickers from the staff before it shortens, shifting into a torch. The eerie hallway makes me suspicious of my surroundings but something leads me on. Eyes move, mouths smile: I am being watched. The eyes of the dead burn my back as I toddle on.

The pillars of the Cathedral are grand designs, created not of something man-made but rather a design only known to the Creators. The Creators designated this place for the burial place of our dead years ago, long before we realized it was inhabitable. Those who escaped the Transformation escaped to Darkness where we still reside today.

At the end of the Cathedral was a vast pit of eternal darkness and lava. Our people reside in the only portion of the land not reachable by lava or Light: we have been blessed.

A sense of Belonging overwhelms me, taking control of my body. The staff returns to its original state, a sign perhaps?

Relaxing, I lean against the staff to stare out across the Wielki Rozdziela, or the Great Divide. Its beauty stuns me, How could a land so mystifying, be infested by malevolence and anguish? Indeed, a land this beautiful cannot be as horrid as legend makes it to be.

I kneel to the ground, not quite in control of my body. As I touch the earth, something springs forth but is smothered by Darkness. Upon rising, the light of the staff flickers until extinguished. Darkness prevailed, comforting me. I stand, staff crossed in front of me; I know what is to happen now. Although I know my fate, I am satisfied and at peace with myself.

I stand there, waiting for something. I cannot seem to remember what for, but I stay.

I am at peace but what of Father? What of his pain? Of his struggles and-

There! Light has returned. Darkness, you have betrayed me.My eyes snap open and I become alert. It is too late to run, perhaps Darkness will protect me.

Darkness has left you, Light has come.

Relaxed, I turn as Light overtakes Darkness. I watch as Light overtakes the Cathedral, shining through transparent walls: Light blinds the eyes that cannot see, opens the eyes that cannot close; the mouths that cannot speak scream in silence.

I shield my eyes from the glare of the light, my eyes not familiar to such brightness. The staff calls upon the earth and it begins to grow, creating something that I could not. I stumble backwards, my arm breaking off, crumbling to dust with the staff. Hopeless I fall to my knees.

Once more, peace falls upon me, calming my nerves. I feel pain and anguish, but I know they will soon be gone. I will be in raj. The journey to where Light and Darkness no longer exist is a painful one, but those who believe, those who are destined, are welcomed with open arms.

Excruciating pain bursts throughout my entire body, roots exploding from my chest. All I can do from screaming out is concentrating on the journey to Utopia, mój raj. At last, I understood what Father had died trying to say:

Darkness is life, but Light is paradise.

I watch as my body is transformed into part of the Cathedral, my stone face twisted in agony.

I am Tranquility. 
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Jul 15, 2010