Posted by: jevcat | March 7, 2012

Time Portals

Philosophers and physicists have speculated that time is not what we have thought it is, being, rather, fluid, with all times present in each moment.  The aliens in Kurt Vonnegut’s novels described human perception of time as being like someone on a railroad track that could only go forward and blinkered, obscuring the view to either side, and pitied our inability to see.  But there are some times and places that encourage us to cast our vision more widely, to see ourselves as moving through and connected to all times.  One of these is Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, New York, mother house of the Episcopal Order of the Holy Cross, where I spent last weekend, along with a group of others from the parish of St. Luke in Fields.

For many of us, there is, if you excuse the word, magic in the round of prayer and chant, the beauty, both natural and man-made, and the wise, often funny, and nurturing presence of the brothers.  I, for one, always come away refreshed and with insights that have not occurred to me elsewhere.  This visit, with the beginning of spring so close, it seemed I could feel the earth humming beneath me, for some reason I was struck by how many doors, windows, and other portals there are at Holy Cross, and they found their way into many of the photos I took.  Perhaps it was simply that I was looking for new life, and new ways forward, but I offer some photos as a little taste of time travel, and a reminder – to myself, as well as anyone else – that we are all time travelers, in our way, and ways are always there, whether we see them, or not.




  1. As a history teacher it is quite easy for me to shift into the past with different people and places. My world is so much vaster as a result. And as I have a Star Trek rerun on right now I can imagine a glimpse of the future. So many mental health gurus teach about being in the now.I cannot fathom being so one dimensional

    • I was a history major in college — graduated with honors — and one reason was because the history professor who became, in a sense, my mentor, taught history not as dates and battles — or not only as that — but as culture: art, music, philosophy, and as the story of people. Personally, I do need to learn to live in the “now” — I tend to get stuck in fearing the future and either thinking how much better things were at points in (my) past or things that might have different and so made the present better, that I actually am in danger of losing the present moment, which should be lived and enjoyed. I guess what it’s really about is balance.

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