Abdij Sint Benedictusberg, Vaals, NL

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Dear Nigel,

The first impression I got from your book is that of a path. A path out of a world artificial because conditioned by our needs, impatience, fears and preoccupations, into reality. Instead of looking and calculating you invite us to unconditional seeing. The English language has a word for this simplicity of attention, of my being in being: to gaze. When asked internet gave me this description that I recognise as meaningful: to look steadily and intently at something or someone, often in admiration, fascination, or wonder. It can also refer to a prolonged and contemplative look, as if lost in thought or reflection. These words reminded me of you, your manner of being with us. A prolonged and contemplative seeing led you to create Day’s light. It reflects your gazing.


Your visit to us was in many ways a precious occasion. Your regard for us, and your deep understanding of the architecture were a gift. “I am in love” you told me “with the architecture of Dom Hans van der Laan.” You shared with me your way of seeing, of appreciating his work. By listening to you, my horizon was expanded. I saw through your loving, inquiring, understanding eyes, and discovered these familiar structures as I never knew them before. You shared with me the joy of the immensely fascinating play of daylight within and without the architectural spaces.

Patiently you observed the dynamics of light within a day. Sometimes you sat at one place and closed for an hour or so your eyes, to become aware of the dynamics and changes of the light in one spot. You became something like pure intention. You existed inside out. Your book, the photo’s one by one are fruits of this particular silence and solitude you practiced. Engaging with your presentation is to engage with wonder, your regard and reverence that shaped your perceiving. You betrayed a monastic soul.


Your friend,
Monk of the Saint Benedictusberg abbey in the Netherlands.