Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I had a little trouble with my own Round Robin Photo Challenge: Holy. I worked on one image for a couple of days and then changed my mind. Then I tried to choose just one other. Then I gave up and decided to go for some undefined number, which turned out to be four. The original choice didn't make the final cut. Please be sure and visit all the entries (and click on the photos!); maybe the other photographers were more discriminating.


The cloisters of the Benedictines, who've been with us for fifteen centuries and vow lives of stability; the exquisite craftsmanship of their Italian stonecutter descendants, who have left their handprints all over the cemetery where I walk; birds on the water, on the beach, and on the move. All holy.

Benedictine Monastery

The Wild Geese

Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer's end. In time's maze
over the fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed's marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

~ Wendell Berry ~

Faith, Hope, and Charity (Gravestone)

"They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time."~ Henry Beston


LightYears2Venus said...

I think I remember the first one from last summer (?) and how it refreshed my soul then. So I won't vote for it again. Therefore, my choice (I know you're not really asking for preferences, but here goes) is #2. I once caught a glimpse of a long-necked silhouette in the sky and said to my husband, "Is that a GOOSE?" We decided it must have been blown off course and was heading to one of our (man-made) City Parks and Rec lakes where we do have a few ducks. To see a whole lake-full is sacred. I can just imagine the noise and hope to see such a sight in person someday. You are so right to include two nature shots in a photo essay on holiness; every day we read more of the death of the natural world that is the ultimate divine sanctuary. This entry is why I read your blog daily, whether I comment or not: beautiful photography and words which you have obviously spent some time crafting into a present for me to open everyday.

Carly said...

How Lovely. I'd say you did an excellent job here! :) Great topic.

Always, Carly

Kathryn said...

Beautiful pictures. I may treat myself to a Wendell Berry book for National Poetry Month.

TJ said...

Very insightful and I absolutely love that it all ties so well together for the topic.Thanks for sharing this with us and it was a challenege I enjoyed.

Anonymous said...

Each and every one is beautiful.

DesLily said...

Faith Hope and Charity.. more people should remember that one!!

Globetrotter said...


These pics were stunning in their holiness! I love the one on the bottom the mostest:)

Also loved Wendell Berry's 'Wild Geese' but I can't quite understand the persimmon association.

(Alas, my brain is rapidly losing any and all ability to pretend it was once adequate...)

This was an intriguing subject for a photo challenge and I'm only sorry I didn't also participate. But I have been enjoying the different interpretations of "Holy" immensely.

Tammy said...

Beautiful pictures and words :)

Thanks for sharing!

tess said...

Beautiful entry!

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Wonderful! I especially love the monastery, the relief on the gravestone, and a poem. Thanks for the cool topic! - Karen

Carol said...

Your photos are, as always, beautiful and inspiring. I'd say they're all holy. I'm partial to landscapes and nature shots myself and yours are among the most moving I've seen. Thank you!

julie said...

Nice pictures. I love the gravestone. Thanks for suggesting the topic.

V said...

Wonderful Post.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Hey I think it will let me leave a comment. Hey!