Friday, April 28, 2017

photographs tangibly link the present to very precise moments of the past

Wendall Berry, Denise Levertov, Thomas Merton
Photo by Eugene Meatyard
"Monasticism. I see more and more the danger of identifying the monastic vocation and spirit with a particular kind of monastic consciousness -- a particular tradition, however "authentic." ... Maybe monasticism needs to be stated all over again in a new way. I have no way of knowing how to tackle this idea. It is just beginning to dawn on me." - Merton, February 6, 1967

Photo by Eugene Meatyard
"I myself am open and closed. When I reveal most I hide most. There is still something I have not said: but what it is I don't know, and maybe I have to say it by not saying. Word play won't do it. Writing this is most fun for me now, because in it I have finally got away from self-consciousness and introversion. It may be my final liberation from all diaries. Maybe that is my one remaining task." - Merton, October 2, 1967


  1. It seems demographics and contemporary culture effectively ensure Merton's prophetic thoughts on monastic reinterpretation.
    I love his insight into the game of personal revelations.

    1. In these photos he is with local KY artists - not monks, not religious, not even Catholics. Both Wendall Berry and Denise L (poet) went on to become noted in their own right. But here they are young, and sharing something with Merton that I might call "monastic". Perhaps he recognized it as well.

  2. Whose quote is that about photographs?

  3. Replies
    1. Yes. Do you think that their energies just sort of gravitated to each other, bringing them together?


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