The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
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Sunday, October 2, 2011
Photo ...

I had trouble getting to sleep the other night, so I spent a half hour or so perusing Fr. James “Jeff” Behrens’ monastery photo book Portraits of Grace. Jeff’s photos and his gentle written reflections were a nice calming touch, just what I needed. It felt so good and comforting simply being under the covers, resting against propped pillows with the book in hand, that I probably stayed up a bit longer than I had to. It was one of those cozy moments of life that come along too infrequently.

I guess that I’m still a bit of a ‘monastery romantic’, despite having been to real monasteries and talking to real monks (including Jeff). Their life is just as gritty as anyone else’s. But Jeff’s book helps to feed my illusion, nonetheless. He focuses in closely on quotidian stuff like tools and windows and leaves and dishes and shovels, with just the right sunlight and shadow to make it all seem beatific. Yea, I know it’s not real life, but sometimes real-life is not what one needs.

On page 85, Jeff has a shot of a praying mantis standing on a wet morning glory flower. Quite interesting. The next day, I went out back by my car, where my own morning glory vines are still in bloom, and I noticed that they were still wet from an earlier rain shower (not surprising given how wet the past few months have been around here). So I went inside and grabbed my camera, and here’s what I got. No bug, but still not a bad shot, IMHO. Thanks, Jeff, for the idea.

◊   posted by Jim G @ 7:49 pm      

  1. Jim, Lovely flower. Lovely picture.

    You certainly are right about Jeff’s book. I have it also and find it calming and restful too.

    Years and years ago, back in the 1950s (a really l-o-n-g time ago), I was on an 8 day retreat. One of the things I found then was the beauty in the small things of this world–the bug crawling on a piece of grass, the beauty of the petals of a slightly pink peony, how the shadows from leaves fall when the sun shines through the trees.

    It’s true: One does have to slow down, calm oneself interiorly, to appreciate such things. But it’s truly worth it.

    While I’m not glad you had trouble sleeping, maybe the point of not sleeping was just what you used it for–to appreciate the small things in life and ultimately to see the morning glory and take the picture above.

    This is one of those things in life that is lovely “all the way around.” MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — October 3, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

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