crayon drawing of spiral 1

On of my favorite subjects at art school was medieval art history. I took two full-year courses of it, although in retrospect I’m not sure why. I guess it just appealed to me more than some of the other art history courses.

We learned a lot about cathedrals and monasteries, stained glass, altarpieces, and illuminated manuscripts. I was fascinated by the idea of cloisters – the large enclosed courtyards in monasteries, with covered walkways around their perimeters.

crayon drawing of spiral 2

The word cloister means “closed” or “enclosed,” and for me the cloister symbolizes the separation between the outer world, and the world of contemplation. We often talk about monks and nuns being “cloistered,” or closed-off from the world, in order to better do their spiritual work.

Home is a place where I can be cloistered.

crayon drawing of spiral 3

Funny, I just looked up the word “secular.” I know it’s often used as the opposite of “sacred,” but I wanted to know its root meaning. Turns out the Latin word “saeculum” means “of an age,” or measured by time.

I like the thought of home being a place where the life within is not measured by time…


What is cloistered (or not cloistered) in your home?

Is your home a place where time stops?


Details of the art journal spread Spiral, wax crayon and collage on paper, September 2006.

The theme for April 2012 is home.

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