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?