Glass

'She did not see the ingenious collar-and-rod construction of the trusses. She saw only a dumpy little structure with a pitched roof like a common outhouse.

'You may approach,' she said drily. 'It is not sacred. It is merely,' she said, imitating Mr Flood's pinched nasal tones, 'a "proty-type" .'

But Oscar did not see as Lucinda imagined. As the dust danced in the luminous tunnel of the western sun, he saw not a dumpy little structure, not a common outhouse either, but light, ice, spectra. He saw glass as those who love it perceive it. He understood that it was the gross material most nearly like the soul, or spirit (or how he would wish the soul or spirit to be), that it was free of imperfection, of dust, rust, that it was an avenue for glory.

He did not see an outhouse. He saw a tiny church with dust dancing round it like microscopic angels. It was as clean and pure and free from vanity. It was at once so beautiful and yet so ...decent. The light shone through its transparent, unadorned skin and cast colours on the distempered office walls as glorious as the stained glass window of a cathedral.

Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda p. 376