Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

23 September 2006

To wider spaces

The Cunning Linguist, who has been trying to make a cultured person of me, years ago gave me a copy of Herman Hesse's Stages. I have read it, or more precisely prayed it, often. I have been reading it very often in the past two weeks.

My noticeable absence from this space in recent weeks (about which no one wrote to complain, thank you very much) was due to the fact that your very own Brother Lawrence was chosen for a post in Rome during the recent General Chapter. This means that I am now busily trying to catch up on the work that piled up during my four weeks away, train my successor and pack my belongings. I have four weeks to do this. Ughh.

Actually, my new job will involve a lot of traveling. While this will certainly provide an even greater harvest of bloggable material, it also brings presents some challenges. First, I may spend long periods in areas where posting will be impractical, at best. Secondly, my increased responsibilities calls for increased discretion. You, my readers, will understand that discretion is not my strong suit so I have decided to error on the side of caution.

The point I am coming to is that this may be my last post. You can rest assured that I will be visiting your blogs often.

Of course, I could be persuaded to change my mind by offers of wild indiscretions from my female readers.

10 September 2006

Random musings

Walking through the old part of Rome one spring day many years ago, I admired the abundance of beautifully sculpted towers, pillars, steeples and obelisks. The Romans' love of the upright form was clearly evident. Since nature abhors a vacuum this random thought suddenly rushed into my otherwise empty mind. If Rome had been a matriarchal society, would today's Italian drivers be forced to navigate their way through streets dotted with large, decorative holes in the ground?

05 September 2006

For your edification

As you might imagine, someone who is good at translation would also have a good command of his mother tongue. The Cunning Linguist is no exception. He graciously agreed to let me post the following poem, which he wrote after a particularly enlightening Canon Law class years ago.

Extract from "Penetration at Four O'Clock",
An Anthology of Canonical Verse
published by Sucker & Warburg
Rome, 1979

Upon a rainy day in Rome
a canonist, whose weighty tome
fell open at the section "Sexto",
hardly had time to say "hey presto"
but found the stuff in this hot section
caused a canonical erection.
Whereat he flew to his confessor,
who simply kindly said "God bless yer,
I'll take that law-book from the shelf
and learn a thing or two myself!"
Which goes to prove the golden rule
that solemn clerics, when at school,
improve the morals of the nation
by giving in to ...sublimation.

(Copyright 1979: cunninglinguist)