Tuesday, June 03, 2014

A wink

I moved my office outside yesterday.  What do I need to work?  A stack of books (A Pernicious Sort of Woman, on late medieval canon law and religious women living without an approved rule - the title is alas a quote from the 2nd Lateran Council), pen, note pads, laptop, reading glasses, and a chilled thermos of aqueous caffeine. My breviary, for yes, I'm a religious woman living without an approved rule.  And of course, the office cat.

Ignatian Spiritualiy is celebrating its fifth anniversarty this month, and have put out a beautifully designed flipboard magazine with fifty two of their favorite posts. I had missed this one, God Winks, by Andy Otto when it first appeared.  Working out here is like being at a cocktail party, with someone I share inside jokes with, winking from across the room.  Wink. I look up to see three baby squirrels emerge from the nest in my neighbors tree, out to practice their walking on wire technique, chittering loudly and harrassing each other to no end.  The race out to the end of the wires, screech to a halt and use the pear tree to turn around.  (Mostly successfully, though there have been some near misses.) Wink.  A chipmunk pops up from the fern, delighted to have found a ripe wild cherry in the garden.

I am reading Follow the Ecstasy, a biography of Thomas Merton's last years - as he moved gradually to a hermitage on the monastery grounds, exploring the boundaries between the monastic life and the eremetic life, testing his limits and his community's limits.  As I sit in this green enclosure, alone, alternating between tending to the laundry, the last bits of paperwork from the academic year, my writing and my prayer, I'm wondering if I've not undertaken a similar experiment.

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