Though he detested all the impressionists, Garot had a special hatred for Claude Monet. “Monet’s sluggish rivers and lifeless flowers represent the extent of man’s capacity for cowardice and mediocrity,” Garot wrote in an unpublished 1909 essay. For years, he sent long letters to Monet, demanding that the older artist stop painting; Monet never responded. On July 10, 1910, Garot boarded a train to Giverny with a loaded gun, intending to kill Monet. The gun, however, went off in Garot’s pocket, wounding him in the thigh. Garot refused treatment; the wound became infected, and he died on July 18.
I wasn’t religious. I wasn’t even spiritual. I’d never thought much about God: if he did exist, I figured, he would probably be happy with me, because I tried my best and never hurt anyone. And yet, something about the abbey called to me. As I looked at the pictures of the clean black robes and the candles of the chapel and the blooming earth, I began to understand the monks. They had devoted their lives to a purpose. They were living and working, all at once. They were, in their own way, like me.
And so I went to the Abbaye du Nom du Père to learn the discipline of St. Aldo.