Sunday, November 30, 2008

An infinty of little hours

As regular readers may have observed I prefer to read than watch television. Mrs. T prefers television. I make no judgements, on those with differing amusements, I only state mine.

Over the years we have reached a mutual accommodation in that whenever I pick up a book Mrs. T will ask me what I am reading. I'll tell her the name and perhaps subtitle. She really has no interest, but occasionally likes to appear interested.

Several years ago, our usual conversation occurred and I told her I was reading "An Infinity of Little Hours" Five Young Men and Their Trial of Faith in the Western World's Most Austere Monastic Order by Nancy Maguire. Oh it must be about David she says.

This was a story I never heard and coincidentally she said that as I was beginning a chapter about David. Turns out David is the son of Mrs T's grandmother's best friend, and now Dr. Maguire's husband.

Well I wrote to Professor Maguire and told her the story. Over time we continued to share family stories while she filled in gaps of her mother in law and I did the same from Mrs. T's family. Finally, she sent the photo above.

Look at it closely. Look very closely.

The photo was taken in Milwaukee during July 1927. The women are in furs. The gent in a summer boater. Someone did not get the memo. The woman on the left is my grandmother in law. She is the identical twin to my bonus daughter. The couple on the right are the Maguires.

An Infinity is a fascinating book of 5 men's early years in a Carthusian monastery in England in the 50's. Life in the monastery has remained virtually unchanged for the past 1000 years, as it will be 1000 years from now. It is austere, and unlike any other in religious community on earth. Infinity is also a very good read.


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