Photograph: Henri Cartier-Bresson

“To my mind, photography has the power to evoke, and must not simply document. We have to be abstract, just like nature.”

—Henri Cartier-Bresson, who died on 3 August 2004.

Georgia O’Keeffe

“Maybe it seems mad that I go out like this and live out under the stars and the sky for a few days — but I am like that.”

— Georgia O’Keeffe

31 July marks the feast day of Saint Ignatius Loyola (b.1491), the founder of the Society of Jesus (more commonly known as the Jesuits). In a breviary, I was interested to read a passage from the Acts of Saint Ignatius taken down by Luis Gonzalez, which describes the reading habits of the young saint:

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Primo Levi

“A country is considered the more civilised the more the wisdom and efficiency of its laws hinder a weak man from becoming too weak and a powerful one too powerful.”

— Primo Levi, If This Is a Man

Photograph: Rhys Tranter
Photograph: Rhys Tranter
Photograph: Rhys Tranter
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John Lewis, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 1963. Photograph: Steve Schapiro

“I believe in nonviolence as a way of life, as a way of living.”

John Lewis
Civil rights leader and American politician
1940—2020

Reading Butler’s Lives of the Saints, I come across a passage on St Pambo, an Egyptian monk (c.390) thought to be a disciple of St Antony. I was struck by the following passage:

“His life was typical of the desert monks: hard manual labour, long fasts and physical penance, and sustained periods of prayer. Pambo was especially noted for his silence and a reluctance to speak any more than was necessary, seeing in control of the tongue a basic first step towards a deeper spirituality; he is said to have meditated on this verse from the Psalms for six months: ‘I will watch how I behave, and not let my tongue lead me into sin’ (Ps. 39:1). On the other hand, he had a broader outlook than many of his colleagues in the desert and did not believe their way of life was necessarily the best; he settled an argument between to monks as to which was more perfect, becoming a monk or staying in the world and doing works of mercy, by saying: ‘Before God both are perfect. There are other roads to perfection besides being a monk.'” (18 July, Butler’s Lives of the Saints)

Photograph: Rhys Tranter
Photograph: Rhys Tranter
Photograph: Rhys Tranter
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