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Visual Meditation: Cloisters (Part One)

“In poetry, language is not the only medium; silence is also a medium. We might even say that, in poetry, the very purpose of the language is to inflect the silences. It’s like after church bells ring: the air resonates with their sound. In poetry, the silences are resonant, from the language that precedes them. . .The silence in poetry is like space in a Gothic cathedral. The function of all that mass of carved stone is to shape a sacred space.”

-Li Young Lee 

The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is one of my favorite places in all of Manhattan.  It was my favorite long before I really knew anything about monasticism which to me speaks of the aesthetic draw of monastic spirituality for me long before I could name the hunger I was experiencing.

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts 

** Visit this week’s Poetry Party!  Submit your poem before tomorrow to be entered into the random drawing!**

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6 Responses

  1. What beautiful photos Christine! Happy to have found Abbey of the Arts. So much of what I read and see here speaks silently and deeply to me.

  2. It’s been years since I visited the Cloisters. Your pictures bring the feeling of being there right into my kitchen. Thank you.

  3. Beloved to me as a New Yorker also! People walk very freely through it, aad through its gardens and its surrounding parkland, accompanied by magestic views from its hilltop setting overlooking the Hudson. That freedom to explore a sacred space, with no DO NOT ENTER or even KEEP QUIET signs, is thrilling. And yet there is a hushness among the visitors and a respect for privacy that arises on its own. Loved the quote and the varying perspectives, near and far, in the photos!

  4. Beautiful words and photographs. I wish I could reach out and touch the stone. I almost feel I can.