Louisville Magazine

AUG 2016

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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130 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.16 Eyes on God Continued from page 47 kentuckycenter.org At the end of the glade, a staircase of slats set in a metal frame was propped against a stone bluff. Placed in a crevice strewn with twigs and pebbles was a statuette of Mary bending over a baby who lay on a cushion. Dirt smudged the folds of her cloak and crusted the pillow in which the baby Jesus rested. A necklace of purple beads had been draped around these figures, and next to Mary, an angel prayed atop a garland of leaves someone had plucked. As I kept walking, more religious trinkets dotted the path — a slab shaped like a min- iature tombstone inscribed with a tonsured monk bowed in thought under a tree, around which sparrows fluttered; a statuette of an old man in a cloak with a staff petting a lamb rubbing against his knees; a sign shaded in the vegetation: "My eyes are always on the Lord. Psalm 24." Descending a slope, I saw something near- by, almost hidden in the underbrush. At first, it looked like a boxcar that some hermit had claimed. It was made of clapboard. I read the sign on the roof: "Rosary House Shelter." e entrance was a square vacancy where the door had been ripped out. A slanted board served as the doorstep. e outside walls were white, except for gashes of red like streaks of blood. I had the wild suspicion that some lat- ter-day John the Baptist lived here, and I called, "Hello? Hello?" No answer. I ducked my head and stooped in. A desk was pushed against the single win- dow, and rosary beads festooned the ceiling. In the corner, a wasp hive droned like a car engine. Torn loose-leaf papered the interior — notes and letters and postcards that people had taped or nailed to the walls. Pages were thumbtacked with cardboard crosses. Pages wrapped around pictures of children. Pages folded over each other. Pages tumbled to the floor. Pages upon pages. Prayers upon prayers: "God be with Dr. Leach in heaven. April 3, 2016." "ank you for saving Christopher. His heart beats, his brain thinks, his smile shines. I love you, Lord." "God, thank you for your many blessings to me and my family, and thank you for loving me when I am impatient, which is often. Lord, I desire a husband, and children of my own. Please lead me into my future." "Please pray for Mary Everett and Emily's baby." (Below it, in different handwriting: "No Trump Please.") Wasps kept buzzing closer to my head, until I returned to the path and skirted the edge of the forest, walking through a tunnel of trees between which light tumbled in from the fields beyond. Roots cabled the track I followed, so that I seemed to be ascending a staircase of packed earth. And then I entered the garden of statues. Cast in black iron, the three men wore robes and hoods. One of them was sleeping on his stomach. Another lay on his side. e third was sitting upright, and bent over, so that his face rested on his forearm. Light and shade dappled the ree Apostles, but at distance was another statue, which seemed positioned so that a shaft of sunlight fell full upon it without any shad- ow. Set upon a dais fringed with cobbled stones, he wore a cloak opened at the neck, and his head reared back on his shoulders, facing the sky. Except the statue's elbows speared outwards, and his hands covered his eyes. I circled the statue. Jesus is usually por- trayed as pacific in his suffering. But this figure seemed alone and afraid and blind,

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