Friday, March 7, 2014

time (2)

Photo of Merton by Eugene Meatyard.  Early winter 1967, by a favorite place at monks' sheep barn, many poems written here.

"… the Christian is at peace with time because she is at peace with God. She need no longer be fearful and distrustful of time, because now she understands that time is not being used by a hostile “fate” to determine her life in some sense which she himself can never know, and for which she cannot adequately be prepared. Time has now come to terms with human freedom."

- Merton, Thomas (2010-04-01). Seasons of Celebration (p. 45). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.


  1. I'm taken always by Meatyard's particular vision. And Fr Louie's assertion that time is not to be feared, that it isn't hostile: it is comforting to rest in that thought, which can easily slip away without mindfulness.

    1. I've been puzzling over these Meatyard photos for some time, James. Never knew quite how to speak about them. It was Merton's "time" essay that finally seemed to capture what Meatyard's photos were about for me. In the conventional linear vision of time, they make no sense at all (at least for me). Or maybe "sense" is not even in the picture.

    2. Perhaps it is the shutter of the camera, isolating the time to portions of a second or seconds (or there are those photos made with long exposures over minutes and hours), that leads to the possibility to feel the photo as timeless--the unchanging image permits us to see it as it opens like a bud of meaning. This is different from "moving" pictures where the change in images carries the meaning. It suggests, also, why some images don't have a timeless quality as their meaning is more about entertainment or information, neither of which are primary in Meatyard's photos of Merton.

    3. Yes, Meatyard's photos seem to directly connect/relate what is seen with what i essential, and he totally bypasses what we think is essence. (if that makes any sense). He leads one into a different way of seeing. I'll post another excerpt from the Preface (by Barry Madrid) that says this better.


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