Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Eremo delle Carceri

Perhaps my favorite place yet is the area around St. Francis' hermitage, the Eremo Della Carceri. On Mt. Subascio there is a cave or grotto where St. Francis would withdraw to pray and contemplate. (Carceri means "to withdraw"). To get there, you go through a tiny 15th century oratory connected to a small chapel area, the Cappella Della Madonna. There is one fresco in each area, which you can stand very near to and focus on. These intimate spaces provided a deeply thin place for me. I am still pondering the oratory and chapel, as to why it felt so different. Perhaps because of its close proximity with nature, intimate spaces, fewer crowds, the history surrounding it, or a mixture of them all. I know there is no formula for thin places, but I am still left with a sense of wonder.

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