Thursday, December 6, 2007

Some years ago I had the great fortune to live in Italy, among the Franciscans for quite some time. Now this was no man feat considering I had, until that time, lived a rather loose life as a blues guitar player in Los Angeles.

It was 1973 and I was in my early twenties.  I found myself walking the dusty road out of the medieval Italian town of Cortona toward the ancient Franciscan hermitage of Le Celle (The Cells). Here in the year 1211 A.D. Francis of Assisi and some of his brothers came and built some huts along a stream. Now, more than 800 years later, along comes I to stay in the old stone monastery that has survived all these years.  It was, to say the least, a most marvelous and exciting time - a formative time - for one so foreign to this remote lifestyle.
I did the above sketch thinking about these things and the great Friars of Franciscan history.

Indeed it was my time in Italy that gave me a sense of the importance of the excellence of Art.

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