Tuesday, November 15, 2011


"In  visual experiences, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye.  It engages the viewer and it creates an inner sense of order, a balance in the visual experience.  When something is not harmonious, it is either boring or chaotic.  At one extreme is a visual experience that is so bland that the viewer is not engaged.  The human brain will reject under-stimulating information.  At the other extreme is a visual experience that is so overdone, so chaotic that the viewer can't stand to look at it.  The human brain rejects what it cannot organize, what it cannot understand.  The visual task requires that we present a logical structure.... harmony is a dynamic equilibrium."    Jill Morton    Colormatters.com

After our visit to the mountain that was so heavily quarried, both my husband and I felt a bit overwhelmed by the destruction left behind.  I just happened upon this writing above.  It is specifically about color harmony, but it really spoke to my feelings about what we had experienced on the mountain.  Remember how I felt that I wanted to bring some order to it, and was pleased when I found that someone had begun a low stone wall?  Harmony, we must bring harmony to the mountain again!

Oddly enough, on the same day, we were able to enjoy wonderful harmony at a concert which was performed at the Monastery.  This was by the University of Georgia Collegium Musicum, which was directed by Dr. Mitos Andaya.  It was a perfect place to hear them sing because of the wonderful acoustics in the church.  Normally, only the monks and those attending retreats are allowed in that part of the church.  Whenever there is a concert, one is allowed to sit at the front.  The glass there is yellow, so the altar is bathed in a golden light.  (There are some orange windows on the side, does this help intensify the golden hue?)   The rest of the windows in the church are blue and purple and therefore, the rest of the church is in a blue/lavender light.  In photographs, the bluish light is much more intense, somehow, our eyes are better at seeing the true colors!  Light and music were enjoyed in equal measures...

Isn't it clever of the monks to place the speakers into the shape of a cross?  Never could see this in the back of the church!

The musical director was wonderful... her movements were as precise as a ballerina's.  And her selections for the choir, excellent.  We were informed that some of those in the choir were music majors but many were not, they just did this for the love of the music!    The video is from the same group performing at the Monastery in May of this year.    

The Monastery may look very plain to anyone from Europe but the size of it alone is very impressive in rural Georgia, which is what Rockdale County was when it was first built in the 1940's.  Also, it is built of concrete, not stone, and it was very hard work to mix and then to build with that heavy concrete.  I was excited that I was able to see the gingko trees which are the yellow ones that are photographed here.  The pansies are waiting for the monk who will plant them in the winter garden.  All the trees and flowers that you see have been carefully planted and tended.  The buildings are beautiful at the Monastery, the grounds are beautiful, the concert was wonderful and the harmony of all this together was a perfect joy.


  1. I don't normally bother clicking on videos but I'm glad I did this time. The singing is so beautiful and, as your heading, indicated, harmonious. I left it on playing again while I browsed on other sites in a new tab. Lovely, thank you.

  2. Scriptor,
    I am so glad that you liked them too!
    It was amazing to hear them live. When they first started singing, tears came to my eyes and honestly, it was all I could do not to start sobbing! (This has happened to me before with beautiful music or words at my own church).
    Why do we cry at beauty? Is it because it is unexpected? Do we feel so much emotion that is must be expressed?
    I am very grateful to have heard them at the Monastery. Did I mention that this was a FREE concert? I'm telling you the Monastery is a jewel but most people who live here just don't understand what a wonder we have right in our own backyard...

  3. Barbara,
    Thank you. It was wonderful to hear them live.

  4. Beautiful Monastery, I love the high arches - very dramatic space.

    Heavenly bit of music, thanks!


  5. Hello Kay:
    What a wonderful place for a concert and such beautiful singing, both of which convey a great sense of peace and harmony. There is, of course, a lovely sense of the stillness of life to be found in buildings such as the Monastery. And we love to think of the pansies flowering throughout the winter.

    Alas, we are still having problems with the Google feed and so your posts only appear erratically in our reader. So annoying.

  6. Elizabeth,
    The Monastery holds a special place in my heart. I wrote about the Monastery twice in the month of September, if you would like to see better photos (taken by the better photographer, my husband!)
    I'm glad you liked the music too! :-)

  7. Jane and Lance,
    Thank you! "The stillness of life"... there are precious few places to feel that in this area...but I am lucky enough to live very close to two of them...the Monastery and Arabia Mountain.
    Yes, pansies survive even through our winters, along with lamb's ears and dusty miller, all of which look very beautiful in a winter's garden.
    Flowers are and always have been a big part of my life. I must see them!

  8. Sounds like a beautiful evening - and quite an impressive building, too.

    Pomona x

  9. Pomona,
    Thank you for commenting! I just wish I could convey how lovely it all was...the sound and the sights!