Evening Concert, Sainte-Chapelle
The celebrated windows flamed with light directly pouring north across the Seine; we rustled into place. Then violins vaunting Vivaldi's strident strength, then Brahms, seemed to suck with their passionate sweetness, bit by bit, the vigor from the red, the blazing blue, so that the listening eye saw suddenly the thick black lines, in shapes of shield and cross and strut and brace, that held the holy glowing fantasy together. The music surged; the glow became a milk, a whisper to the eye, a glimmer ebbed until our beating hearts, our violins were cased in thin but solid sheets of lead.
Excerpted from Endpoint by John Updike. Copyright © 2009 by John Updike. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted wihtout permission in writing from the publisher.