"I remember how I looked at the ruins of Jumieges and Cluny, and wondered how those immense basilicas had looked in the days of their glory. Then there was Chartres, with its two unequal spires; the long vast nave of Bourges; the soaring choir of Beauvais; the strange fat romanesque cathedral of Angouleme, and the white byzantine domes of Perigueux. And I gazed upon the huddled buildings of the ancient Grande Chartreuse, croweded together in their solitary valley, with the high mountains loaded with firs, soaring up to their rocky summits on either side. What kind of men had lived in those cells? I cannot say that I wondered much about that, as I looked at the pictures. I had no curiosity about monastic vocations or religious rules, but I know my heart was filled with a kind of longing to breathe the air of that lonely valley and listen to its silence. I wanted to be in all these places, which the picture of ‘Le Pays de France’ showed me: indeed, it was kind of a problem to me and an unconscious source of obscure and half-realized woe, that I could not be in all of them at once."
— Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey MountainPosted 1 year ago with 4 notes