Wednesday, February 14, 2007

love had a compass

Lax improvises on the prologue to St. John’s Gospel in his poem, The Circle of the Sun:

And in the beginning was love. Love made a sphere: all things
grew within it, the sphere then encompassed
beginnings and endings, beginning and end. Love
had a compass whose whirling dance traced out a
sphere of love in the void: in the center thereof
rose a fountain.


  1. Beth, did Lax ever publish any of his journals? Do you know if his estate plans on doing any publishing?

    thanks, John

  2. I don't think that Lax was a compulsive writer, like Merton.

    The only journal I know that he kept is the one from Patmos - and it is more poetic-like than just free-writing. I have a book, "When Love Had A Compass", which contains a lot of his poetry and the Patmos journal. I also have a book of correspondence between Merton and Lax, and the Circus of the Sun book (which I just adore). This last journal really intrigues me now - but I am also anxious to see those Jubilee magazines, and how they were put together - what Merton contributed, what Lax contributed, etc.

    I have a friend who is an ex-nun and when I told her I was looking for the Jubilee magazines, she got very excited - "Oh, those were the best, BRILLIANT!", she exclaimed...

    So ... stay tuned. I still might break down and get that Merton/Lax/Rice book.

    THanks for your comments, John.

  3. Beth, I'll look for the "When Love..." book! I work at a Catholic hospital, I'll have to ask some of the sisters if they ever received the magizine, you never know...

  4. You are up near Olean, aren't you John? I'm sure that St. Bonaventure's would have the Jubilee magazines, as well as a lot of other Lax stuff. I'm not sure, but I think that St. Bonaventure's is the main place that is preserving the Lax material.

    My sister does not live far from Olean, and was the director of a nursing home for nuns just across the street from St. Bonnie's for many years.

    That's another trip I need to take - a visit to see my sister!

  5. Have you read "The Way of the Dreamcatcher?' by Steve Georgiou. It's about a young seeker's (Georgiou) encounter with Lax on Patmos over a 7 year period. A very good read.

  6. I have heard of that book, Rich. It sounds like a good read. Thanks for the comment.


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