I looked back and forth through the window of 15th century Spain, through the hues of Judaism, Islam and Christianity, and was drawn into a fascinating world: history, religion, cross-cultural fertilization... From the more familiar turf of the west coast of Ireland, through the troubadours of France, crossing over the Pyrenees and then to the west through Galicia, down through Andalusia and past Gibraltar to Morocco... The Crusades, the pilgrimage to Santiago, Cathars, the Knights Templar, the Sufis from Egypt, One Thousand and One Nights in Arabia, the Celtic sacred imagery of trees, the Gnostic Gospels... who was God? and what is religion, what spirituality? What was revealed and what was concealed... and what was the mask and what the mirror?
March 23, 1993 - Morocco...Ramadan; I wake up early to catch my flight home, and at 5:30 a.m. hear men chanting in the mosque, one of the most moving and primitive sounds I have ever heard. They are calling their God. I think, when have I heard this before?
November 21, 1988 - St-Benoit-du-Lac, Québec...have just arrived at this Benedictine monastery in the Eastern Townships of Québec. It was the first snowfall today, and the brothers were out walking along the long lane as I approached...hooded figures slowly making their way to Mass as the snow fell like blessings. I followed the sound of the bells to vespers.
November 24, 1988 - I have wondered about who these men are who have made their way here, who they were before they came. How did each connect to God, and how did it differ from each other's journey, and from mine?...one red-headed lad looked like he could be my brother...I recall speaking with a brother in Glenstal Abbey in Ireland last year about the many and varied paths that had brought them to that place of worship and reflection.
March 19, 1993 - Morocco...made my way to the thousand-foot sand dune past Erfoud, near the Algerian desert, and rose at dawn to catch the sun rise. I don't think I have ever felt something so simple and yet so powerful. I wondered if the first sunrise was just like this.
Stars were falling deep in the darkness
as prayers rose softly, petals at dawn
And as I listened, your voice seemed so clear
so calmly you were calling your god
Somewhere the sun rose, o'er dunes in the desert
such was the stillness, I ne'er felt before
Was this the question, pulling, pulling, pulling you
in your heart, in your soul, did you find rest there?
Elsewhere a snowfall, the first in the winter
covered the ground as the bells filled the air
You in your robes sang, calling, calling, calling him
in your heart, in your soul, did you find peace there?