The gimcrack sounvenirs are adding to the landfill, the churches will one day crumble to dust, I am forver part of the darkness of the world–but also, I hope, of its light.
LET’S BUILD A BOOTH
And in giving my all—the giving itself at the urge and under the aegis of a power infinitely greater than myself—I entered for a time into that cloud that covered Jesus on Mount Tabor.
TRAVELS WITH MYSELF
April I have booked four nights at the Holy Cross Retreat Center Hermitage, Las Cruces, New Mexico. Here I plan to map out THE REST OF MY LIFE ONCE AND FOR ALL.
NEW CAMALDOLI HERMITAGE
Back in my room, I gazed out at the stars. The older I get, the more keenly aware I am that our time on earth is finite. I’d stayed once before at New Camaldoli, many years before: would I pass this way again?
SUMMON THE WHEAT
It’s good to give–but why is it so fiendishly difficult for some of us to receive: to impose, to “bother,” to make a pest of ourselves (or so we tell ourselves?)
THE FOLKS I DIG
I wasn’t hallucinating but it was kind of like when I used to drop acid back in high school–an altered state except not dark, not delusional. If only I could see through those eyes and feel that way all the time!
” ‘Hiraeth’ is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter, likens it to a homesickness tinged with grief and sadness.”
Chicago, Lake Forest, and Oak Park were incredible. But way more important–I made a new friend.
EVERYTHING PROFOUND, PART III
“Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’” mountaineer John Muir once asked an interviewer. “It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’”
EVERYTHING PROFOUND: PART II
The notion that “enlightenment” consists in 24/7 calm, in short, had never sat well with me. True, Christ curled up in the back of the boat during a storm and took a nap—but that wasn’t impassivity; it was trust.
EVERYTHING PROFOUND MOVES FORWARD IN DISGUISE: PART I
As the Italian novelist and poet Cesare Pavese observed: “Religion is the belief that everything that happens to us is extraordinarily important.”
I WILL NOT LET THEE GO
Since turning 70, I basically think about death ALL THE TIME. Not in a morbid way but in the sense that my death is always before me.
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST. KEVIN
“The hermitage garden is designed to provide a place where nature, scripture and Glendalough’s history are combined in harmony, delighting the eye, comforting the soul and leading pilgrims to prayer and a deeper awareness of God.”
One day last week I tramped through a dark wood, up a very steep hill, and around a couple of bends and came out at the edge of meadows and meadows full of…could it be?…I was pretty sure…heather! I’ve never seen my namesake flower growing in the wild so this was a rare thrill.