Monday, May 16, 2011


One of my favorite places here at the Marianist novitiate in Dayton is the garden mere steps from my door. One of the brothers created a magical place with enclosures and benches made of twigs and hung with derelict chandeliers, rusty crosses, wire birdcages, chimes, and long strands of beads, marbles, and glass balls that he calls "lightcatchers."

"Education can help us only if it produces “whole men.” The truly educated man is not a man who knows a bit of everything, not even the man who knows all the details of all the subjects (if such a thing were possible): the “whole man,” in fact, may have little detailed knowledge of facts and theories but he will be truly in touch with the centre. He will not be in doubt about his basic convictions, about his view on the meaning and purpose of his life. He may not be able to explain these matters in words, but the conduct of his life will show a sureness of touch which stems from his inner clarity."

--E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful



  1. Shame a camera can never do that sort of thing justice. But, then again, I suppose it's analogous to seeing 'through a glass darkly'. The Reality is always far better.

    However, the last photo was the most moving.

  2. "Before, perhaps, when you spoke of working for the apostolate, you were doing so under the impulse of nature. Now you must do it under the impulse of grace. "

    This was in a previous post but it struck me... Have you seen the trailer for Terrence Malick's "Tree of Life"?

    Listen to the first line, it relates.

  3. Hi Robert, I got invited to a screening in L.A. Don't think I'm going to be able to make it but the trailer does look intriguing...

    And I am so not a photographer, Paul--this is the first camera I've ever owned. No photo, esp. mine, could do the lightcatchers proud. But in a way to take what pictures I can and offer them with joy and love and humor is as much the point as the photos themselves. The guy who made them is also apparently a huge Flannery O'Connor fan/expert, so that makes them throw off even more light in my eyes!

  4. Thank you for the beautiful pictures! I live in Ohio too so this is what I'm seeing in my gardens and on my farm. I guess I'm just too lazy to share it. And lovely quotes! I'm going to post them on my facebook page. (but I'll give you credit!)

  5. I'm proud to say the brother who created the garden is my brother-in-law. His gardens reflect his creative soul. We have many of his lightcatchers hanging in the windows of our home. My boys always love spending time in a place that Uncle Tom has created! I know that one of his greatest joys is seeing other people enjoy the unique gardens he has created.

  6. Julie, the night before I left the novitiate in Dayton, your beautiful brother-in-law showed up with a whole bag of lightcatchers, each in its own individual velvet carrying bag, and invited me to pick two to take back to L.A. (I had seen him earlier in the day and told him how taken I was with his garden.) This minute I just returned from morning Mass and the first thing I saw when I walked into my room were the two of them, catching prisms of light, in the window where they are hanging above my bed!

    The light shines in darkness and the darkness has not overcome it...wonderful to hear from you, and long live the good Uncle Tom!...


I WELCOME your comments!!!