Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Invitation to Photography: Soul Friend

Welcome to this month’s Abbey Photo Party!

button-photographyI select a theme and invite you to respond with images.

We began this month with a Community Lectio Divina practice with wisdom from St. Brigid.  As I prayed with this passage, I was moved by how essential Brigid considers the role of companions on the journey. She urges us to make finding those with whom we can share a deep kinship of the heart’s longings.

With our overall theme of the year at the Abbey as discernment, I love the idea of listening for how we might build a soulful community to support us in living as a monk in the world (which also reflects the third principle of the Monk Manifesto).

I invite you for this month’s Photo Party to play with this idea as you go out in the world to receive images in response. As you walk hold this image of soul friend and be ready to see what is revealed to you.

You can share images you already have which illuminate the theme, but I encourage you also to go for a walk with the theme in mind and see what you discover.

You are also welcome to post photos of any other art you create inspired by the theme.  See what stirs your imagination!

How to participate:

You can post your photo either in the comment section below* (there is now an option to upload a file with your comment) or you can join our Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks Facebook group and post there. Feel free to share a few words about the process of receiving this image and how it speaks of the “Soul Friend” for you.

*Note: If this is your first time posting, or includes a link, your comment will need to be moderated before it appears. This is to prevent spam and should be approved within 24 hours.

You might also enjoy

Monk in the World Guest Post: Jennifer Scott Mobley

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Jennifer Scott Mobley’s reflection and poem The Work of Healing. “We are each a multitude of inner voices. Some of these voices are loud,

Read More »

27 Responses

  1. This is my “non-human” Anam Cara ..Georgie. He is my constant companion, teacher of patience, and the face of what unconditional love looks like.

  2. Well i have posted the poem as a reflection but I am unable so far to post the photo that goes with it. Sorry. Will try again tomorrow

  3. sunflowers

    out of darkness
    like a thousand spinning suns
    a field of sunflowers

    burnished faces
    a fanfare of gold
    dressed lavishly in green

    they turn a slow liturgical dance
    to follow the sun
    as one turns to follow a god

    without question without protest

    busily as is their destiny
    nectar for bees
    seeds rowed up in lines for birds

    then stand scarred and weather-warn
    to their last crumble crunched
    dried up life cycle

    they have no desires
    only lush beauty
    and their moment in time

    colleen keating

  4. This group of Australian Native Grass Trees standing silently in a paddock embody a sense of Soul Friends.

  5. Don’t have a picture of a soul friend, but will try to paint one with words. There is a place in the vastness of the desert before the mountain of Big Bear where I go for solitude and prayer. For several years an elderly man would come by walking his dog, usually at sunrise as the mountain wakes up and turns from crimson to pink to awakened white. My soul friend of Native American ancestry is now unable to walk and drives his golf cart a little later at mid morning. These passings in the shade of the mountain and windswept desert vastness have deepened a friendship in spirit and gratitude for beauty and life. His dog, George, today for the first time sat up and asked me to scratch his tummy. It is a small, little creature…usually, with its tongue out on the side reminding me of a drunken sailor. Now it is the guide to keep him on track as memory fades and senior moments come. A few weeks ago preparing some words for a celebration of life of another Native American woman we marveled at the circle dance in the sky of 50 vultures and two eagles and two military jets. Then prayed together the Native American prayer which he would also like prayed at his service. So this is the soul friend of daily walks….

    1. A beautiful photo! I can see so much in it that is precious: tenderness, acceptance, simplicity, understanding, joy….. It reminds me of a word of Pope Francis: “The way of the Christ is joy.”
      The joy of being Sister and Brother….

  6. Just now on our walk in the falling snow, I took this photo of one of my Soul Friends, Gurumylie. I have multitudinous other adorable photos I thought to post, but decided to wait for the mystery of our walk in the newly falling snow, to see what appeared. Of course Gurumylie appeared! This yard sculpture we encountered, which matches his outfit, wanted to pose with him. This home behind them is actually quite adorable & cottage looking, w/darling garden out of view here.

    1. Oh, my goodness. This is such a sweet and precious photo. My doggie is most definitely by soul friend. But he is a rescue dog and something happened to him and he won’t let me take a photo of him. I have to sneak and it never captures his true spirit.

    1. Lynn, this painting is magnificent! So intimate , expressing the deep connection of soul friends. It reaches right to the depth of my heart. Thank you. JoAnne