LAX, ROBERT -- The Way of the Dreamcatcher

Book Review by Dan Kenneth Phillips, editor of Thomas Merton -Monk and Poet

THE WAY OF THE DREAMCATCHER-Spirit Lessons with Robert Lax: Poet, Peacemaker, Sage
Steve T. Georgiou, Novalis Press, 2002) ISBN 2-89507-244-2 (PB) $19.95

As a disillusioned young man, Steve Georgiou travelled to Patmos, Greece, and through a fateful encounter with a stranger met Robert Lax. Lax, Thomas Merton's best friend, who had to many disappeared three decades ago.

Dreamcatcher is a book of visions. Reality is replaced by "The Playground of the Lord." Through his meetings with Lax, Georgiou excavates the life of a saint, a sensitive, humble person like none he has met before.

Mining the heart of Lax, Georgiou touches the subjects Lax reveals in: Art, Craft, and Spirit.

From the days when a Circus was his arena to the blue-doored heritage where he lived in Patmos, Dreamcatcher captures a man immersed in the moment who believes God is here and Now and everywhere.

Georgiou book has dozens of pictures that give us further insights into the life of Lax, and he describes Lax's life by saying, "Attention to the moment, self-discovery, communion with others, reconnection with the divine, a going with the flow, a kind of mystical travelling, a kind of dreaming....its all there." From his daily routine, his love of cats, his poetic skills, and his writing by flashlight in the darkness, one becomes mesmerized by Lax as revealed by Georgiou.

In summary the author states, " His insight and counsel had always enlightened and inspired me. But more than anything else, I think it was his presence which consistently impressed me, the way he moved and spoke, the whole manner of his peaceful, happy being. Calmly, and with subtle power, he intoned that anything is possible in God, providing one is compassionate and attentive. And coming from a voice like his, that meant a great deal. Lax's life in itself had proved that a man could love so much that he became a living blessing. He gracefully showed how creature, creation, and Creator could harmoniously merge and give birth to radiant possibilities. He revealed bright paths of fulfillment and freedom. There was no "gorwing old" in Lax, only the joy of new beginnings."

Georgiou's closing pages left me in tears. I don't usually cry reading the closing remarks in the epilogue, but this time I did. The symbols that Georgiou and Lax shared will bear a fruition for eternity. And the mystical day on which Lax died was also stunning to me.

For two days I couldn't read anything else I was so stunned in awareness of how I had been in the presence of a great man.

Everyone who has heard of Merton and Lax needs to read this book. It is a "spiritual feast of magnificient order. Don't Wait !!"

Quotes by Lax:

"Most of the my time is spent alone listening, writing, reflecting. I do need to be alone, undistracted, so that I can best hear myself think."

"You have to live what you are writing, and if you are writing from your heart, if you are a "soul-scribe," good things will happen."

"Giving someone your one hundred percent undivided attention is like extending a blessing."

"When we forgive ourselves and each other, things that interfere with the flow of holiness dissolve."

July 13, 2002


Thomas Merton and Robert Lax: A Friendship in Letters by Arthur W. Biddle

Poet Robert Lax to receive St. Bonaventure University Arts Award

The Poet - San Francisco. Includes article about Kerouac.

Thomas Merton - Monk and Poet