Slow Time Zones at LMU

We sent ACTI Rains Research Assistant Emily Rawson across LMU to explore, experience, and document the spaces around campus which invite contemplation, slowness, and peace.  This semester, several installations reflect the 2016 Bellarmine Forum‘s theme of “The Values of Time” and the benefits of SLOW time.  Emily also interviewed Dr. Brad Stone, co-director of the Bellarmine Forum, about his experience with SLOW LMU; the interview may be read here.  

All photos and captions by Emily Rawson. Photos edited by Jonathan Kokotajlo.


Preface: There are places in this world where we feel peace, though we may not always be able to explain why. Sometimes there is simply a spirit of calmness in the air that touches our hearts, and quiets our raging minds. On the LMU campus particularly, there are many such places for students, faculty and staff to find this sort of peace, if we only take the time to look, to feel, and to rest in these slow time zones.



Leafy vines climb the trellises in the Burns Fine Art Center, offering a space of shade and calm respite to artists seeking a quiet moment to think, or find inspiration.




The displacement garden in the Burns Fine Art Center waits with open doors for passersby to enjoy some calming, mindful yet stressless moments stacking the cool, smooth rocks that lie in wait for them.





Even in the displacement garden, not all of the rocks are smooth nor easy to stack. Some are set apart in concrete boxes, creating new voids of space between them.




A sign upon the wall explains the purpose of the displacement garden in Burns, and has become in itself a set for a few tiny stones to be stacked upon it.




Looking down from the balconies of the Burns Fine Arts Center, the displacement garden may seem filled with thousands of stones, yet also empty, as if waiting for something, or perhaps just waiting for someone to stack the stones.




This year’s LMU Common Book, A Tale for the Time Being, lies in a glass case on the first floor of the William H. Hannon Library, surrounded by sand, shells, and packing peanuts, as if it washed up on some distant seashore.




A ceramic cat, reminiscent of Schrödinger’s thought experiment, sits atop books on being and time in a glass case on the first floor of Hannon Library.




Looking up the center of the staircase in the Hannon Library from below, we can read the sentences, “WAS IT A CAT I SAW” and “NOW I EMIT TIME I WON,” from the bottom up.




Looking down the center of a staircase in Hannon Library from above, we can still read the sentences “WAS IT A CAT I SAW” and “NOW I EMIT TIME I WON” from the top down, and the words do not change. Both falling down and climbing up can be the same thing.




The words “BEING AND [SLOW] TIME” lie on the first floor beneath the staircase in Hannon Library.




The crucifix in Sacred Heart Chapel commands attention as the focal point of both the chapel and the Christian faith. The image is not only a sign of faith, but also a symbol for what it might mean for any person to make an earnest sacrifice for his or her beliefs, passions, and love.




Stained glass windows illuminate a corner of Sacred Heart Chapel with colored light. The golden box on the altar is a tabernacle, holding the consecrated bread that is believed by Catholics to be the body, blood, soul and divinity of God incarnate, the Christ who gave his life for them and now awaits their visit.




The trees outside of Sacred Heart frame the chapel’s stained glass windows, as seen from the path that winds up along the bluff, which is in itself a place for tranquil reflection.




A shrine of Mary the Mother of God, as she appeared to children in Fatima, looks benevolently upon the children and upon any who wish to spend a minute with her in a garden amongst bright flowers and long grasses, just behind the bluff path next to the Bird’s Nest.




The corners of Sacred Heart Chapel spiral up into the heavens, though it may be grounded on the earth and covered by some shadows.




The sun shines upon a statue beside Sacred Heart Chapel that reaches its arms, and a newborn life, towards the sky in exultation.



For more information about the 2016 Bellarmine Forum, including SLOW LMU and the slow time zones around campus, visit the Bellarmine Forum website.  Read Emily’s interview with Dr. Brad Stone, co-director of the Forum, here.