I was trying to explain to someone today the experience of standing before the Taj Mahal during my visit to India this past summer. The Taj Mahal is such an icon of world history and simulataneously a symbol of a country, a belief, of architecture, of peace...of an almost endless array of interpretions that it almost seems unreal.
Standing there in the vast courtyard, facing the actual structures that comprise the Taj Mahal, after a exhaustive trip throuugh crowded roads, Indian countryside, and a throng of venders descending upon our little American group, it wasn't difficult to feel grateful for the experience. As I walked up to the complex, I placed a hand on the cold marble base upon with the Taj Mahal was built. As beautiful as it looks in the traditional photographs of which we're all familiar, the true beauty lies in the intricate detail - carvings and inlaid designs that are invisible from a distance, but are nevertheless the elements that in in total are the Taj Mahal.