Viewed from a distance, Mont St Michel is like a shimmering mirage, an island of calm, delicately floating on barely moving water. Up close, it can transform itself into a massive earthbound rock, surrounded and engulfed by cars, buses and swarming tourists. Like life, Mont St Michel is what you make of it.
I have always found silence to be a most precious friend and I believe that periods spent alone, without chatter and distractions, can be extremely creative, insightful and productive. I was fortunate during my visits to Mont St Michel to have opportunities to be alone in the abbey throughout the night, accompanied only by the red glow of the altar light. I was able to climb to high vantage points in the bell tower and parapet, above even the gargoyles. I explored the unlit inner spaces of the crypts and chapels, and I wandered the quiet, empty lanes of the town while the rest of the world slept. I spent hours looking at lights reflecting on distant sand flats, and watched shadows appear and disappear on moving clouds. I took naps while my camera shutter stayed open for long exposures, recording accumulations of time, invisible to the human eye. My days and nights on Mont St Michel were spent quietly walking, observing, listening, waiting, meditating, praying and photographing.