Light in the Desert Book Signing with lecture By Tony O’Brien / November 17, 2011
Photographs from the Monastery of Christ in the Desert
With an essay by Christopher Merrill
Foreword by Mary Anne Redding
Published in association with the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, New Mexico History Museum
In 1968 the Trappist monk Thomas Merton visited the Benedictine monastery Christ in the Desert, near Abiquiu, New Mexico, shortly after it was founded. His writings and photographs of his experience brought the secluded monastery to the attention of a wider community of people seeking sanctuary and spiritual inspiration. After being imprisoned in Afghanistan while on assignment for Life magazine in 1989, photojournalist Tony O’Brien sought solace and perspective at the monastery. He returned in 1994 to do a story and, in the process, became a practicing member of the community.
During his year-long retreat, O’Brien was granted rare access to photograph the monastery and the daily activities and offices that have been kept in a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. O’Brien’s camera became an instrument of contemplation and spiritual healing, his reverent photographs reflecting, as well, the harsh beauty and austerity of the monastery.
Please contact the Abiquiu Inn for reservations for seating is limited. 505-685.4378.