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The Cathedral of Life (And The Art of Junk)
Oh what shall we do with the days of our lives? What dreams shall we dream?
What shall we do with the days of our lives? What dreams shall we dream? What things shall we build? Maybe a cathedral? Wouldn’t it be wonderful? Yes, delightful!
What Is a Cathedral?
cathedral - the principal church of a diocese, with which the bishop is officially associated. Ex. "St. Paul's Cathedral."
Oh, what a boring definition!
A cathedral is a spectacular structure that aims to evoke a profound spiritual experience of awe and reverence. The soaring heights create an energy that calls the human spirit to look up towards the heavens and perhaps reach for the divine.
A cathedral is:
A place of inspiration.
A place of possibilities.
A place of transformation.
A place to place of new perspective.
A place to see beauty and good.
A place to connect with the eternal.
That sounds much better!
How do you build a cathedral?!
It's much easier than you think.
The Cathedral of Junk
The Cathedral of Junk is a two-story structure located in the backyard of a home in Austin, Texas. It’s in an ordinary neighborhood. If you drove by it you wouldn’t know it was there. Yet, the world knows.
The Cathedral of Junk was “founded” in 1988 by Vince Hannemann, when he was in his twenties. It was built with hundreds, or maybe thousands, of curated elements that most people would label as junk. Why did he build it? Why not. It was fun.
As Vince continued to work on the cathedral, neighbors began to take notice. People began to talk. Strangers began to visit, and the word began to spread.
Today, you can listen to interviews with Vince on YouTube and find The Cathedral of Junk listed on every travel and roadside attraction website.
What is extraordinary is that Vince just did it. And because he did it, people noticed.
How to Build a Cathedral
There are many examples of people building quirky things that curious people notice.
Why wouldn’t people notice if we did the same? What lessons can we learn from the cathedrals in high places and in backyards?
Have a Compulsion
I think that most people who follow their dreams are really following their curiosity and compulsions. Compulsion and calling are closely related. You don’t really need a reason. You just do it. The only time you think about it is when people ask you “why?”.
Have a Vision
I want to build something cool, like a fort, with junk. That’s an effective starting point. But we can take it further. A vision is a way to refine our compulsion. We refine our compulsion into a dream.
Use Your Natural Abilities
How do you build a cathedral of junk without it falling down? Only Vince knows. After 30+ years, and every storm on record, it still stands. Your natural abilities make it happen.
Although the Cathedral of junk was not visible from the street, people still found it. That’s because Vince allowed people to wander around in his backyard. Vince didn’t hide his work. A cathedral is visible, by sight, or by word of mouth.
Stick With It
If you stick with it, over time you will have a cathedral.
Building our dreams should be fun. If not, why do it?
Oh, how I wish I would have had this vision and understanding in my youth. But I'm grateful I have it now. There is inspiration all around us, if we look.
We are builders and architects of our lives and of our dreams.
To your success!
How do you build your dreams? You don’t have to read 100+ articles on James on Success. Just read the books.