Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Guide and the Guidebook

I read an interesting story about a man who was driving southwards from Siena.
Finding it difficult to thoroughly enjoy the beautiful countryside, he decides to pull over. Reaching for his map, he is overcome by the landscape with it various hues of ochre, gold, and green. To his surprise, he discovers he is not far from St. Antimo Abbey. He had read about it in his guidebook. So off he went along the winding road.
In the distance he sees a religious brother who, to his surprise is actually hitchhiking. He offers him a ride when they find out they are both going to the abbey.
The man tells the brother how excited he is to see the beautiful abbey and to hear the Gregorian Chants. He had read about this in his guidebook.
He is quite embarrassed to find out that the brother lives at the abbey and decides to keep quiet the rest of the journey.
When they finally arrive, the brother offers the man something that cannot be found in any guidebook; the opportunity not only to look and to hear, but to observe and to listen. The chance to get to know and to venerate the Abbey of Sant'Antimo.
As I am getting older, I realize the importance of true observance. It is more than just looking. Sometimes listening is harder than hearing, but at least I try.
I somehow discovered these rules on my own. I didn't have to pick up a hitchhiking monk on the side of the road.
I was guided, though and continue to follow the same guidebook.


Farmgirl Susan said...

Hello! I just discovered your blog via Katherine at Apifera Farm. Your paintings are beautiful! And I especially love the photos in progress. : )

thorngren said...

Thank you so much! I can't believe all the people that have visited my blog thanks to Katherine.

Frances Mayes said...

Very nice painting-in -progress. Have fun! It popped up on my google alert. We, of course, would never sell Bramasole. It's one of those odd myths that continues to circulate with no basis! Auguri--