Month: December 2016

A delightful surprise: a blog in my inbox that has an image of one of my sculptures

Periodically, one of you readers will ask about my previous life as a sculptor.  Since I stopped sculpting in the late 80’s, long before cell phones and even digital cameras were invented, and since I had neither the finances nor the inclination to document my work (believing, as I did, that, like the guild craftsmen of the Middle Ages, I was working for the glory of God and not the recognition of Self), I have almost no photos of my work.

Several years ago a Minnesota Public Television station produced a documentary about my writing and sculpting ( that shows a few images.  Should you wish to watch, it is all in the first ten minutes.  But beyond that fine piece, there is little record of my work — certainly nothing about it in context.

But this morning a link to a blog piece showed up in my inbox that has an on-site shot of my sculpture, Joseph the Worker, that I did while living in the Westminster Benedictine Abbey in Mission, British Columbia.  I tried to do a piece in the style and in a manner that reflected the Benedictine values of the monks with whom I was living.  I think I succeeded.

It was, in effect, an extended visual meditation on the spiritual character of a simple carpenter who throughout the Gospels never utters a word, but was willing to raise a child as his own who his wife maintained had been conceived, not by involvement with another man, but by the direct intervention of God.  In short, a quiet, hardworking man of simple faith.

The church in which it stands was just being built at the time.  I wandered the shell of the construction, looking for lines and rhythms I could echo in my work.  And I became aware that the church was going to be a vast spiritual echo chamber that could benefit from the visual counterpoint of an intimate presence that would focus the attention and serve as a meditation on the man who was the patron saint of the monastery.

The result was the sculpture that shows up at the end of the blog  It clearly reflects my fascination with Michelangelo and the Florentine Renaissance and predates my interest in Native American values and aesthetics.  It is, as I am wont to say, more an image than a sculpture.  I have not seen it in person for at least 15 years.

For those of you who have been curious about my previous life as a sculptor, this blog and the Minnesota Public Television piece will give you some insight.  I hope you enjoy them.

Voices in the Stones — my new book and a thoughtful review from a good man

David Crumm, who quietly serves as one of the true allies of people laboring in the fields of spiritual and religious endeavors, has written a cogent and timely review of my new book, Voices in the Stones. Should you wish to order it, you can go to for an autographed copy, or you can buy it from any of the usual suspects.

voices-coverBut, first, read the review and see what you