The world’s crankiest monk

I’m the world’s crankiest monk right now, cloistered away from all my dear ones, irritable from  taking a big leap to follow God and landing in stillness and isolation.

I’m a religious devotee with a crazy two-year old, trying to prayer walk for the neighborhood as my child shrieks every other second or so (stroller! mama hold you! walk! WALK! no no no, stroller! mama hold you! mama hold you! MAMA HOLD YOOOOOOOUUUU!).

I meditate on the pizza boxes on the ground, the razor in the plants, the boys fighting, the people talking in a language that sounds like music to me, rusting playgrounds, people bent on getting by, shy smiles at the grocery store. I meditate on how strange it is to be in a city where you don’t know how the shopping carts work, ruminate on the simple disorientation that comes from not knowing what the radio stations are, or where you can buy cheap and free range-eggs. I meditate on how I wish I knew how to do all this better; to sit and be silent and marvel. Instead it is all rushing by in a series of early mornings, wandering around the city, getting lost and crying, slowly starting to buy spices, getting the pots and pans out.

Fingers urging to write, head spinning with ideas for classes, programs, events, ways to help and help and help. But the Abbot says no, first we wait. We don’t wait in silence (for that is near impossible with the toddler), but we are trying not to drown in the clutter of surviving, either. We are just trying to listen, through all the noise. When you take away the church buildings, where is your tribe? When you take away your parents and sisters and grandparents, where is your family? When you take away people who like the same food or music or God, who are your friends?

I am not making a very good monk right now, but I am trying to sit in my place and listen for the answers.

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9 thoughts on “The world’s crankiest monk

  1. […] In the throes of transition she asks: […]

  2. Wow. DL – where are you? And what is this community that is headed by an Abbot? I knew you were moving, but hadn’t a clue it was into a religious community already there. VERY interesting. Now, if I can only figure out how to subscribe to your blog…

    • well, i took some poetic license with “Abbot”–more meaning God than anyone :). but our team leader here is greatly influenced by the contemplative side of life (can you tell that i am not, that i need to be?). we are in the middle of the inner city in a large mid-western town–i can e-mail you the specifics if you like! also, so sorry about the computer issues. same thing happens to me on twitter. i am hopeless. try google reader?

  3. It tells me I AM following this blog – but I don’t think I’m getting email notices. And you know I’m having the same problem with my own place – it no longer lands in people’s inboxes. And I’m way too dumb to fix it. :>(

  4. You can tell me to shut up with my gardening metaphors, but they help me… To a certain degree, you have been uprooted and stuck in new, unfamiliar soil. It will take a while to get established and to grow back to even where you were before. Praying God gives you grace, peace, and patience during the transition.

  5. I know where you are from the photo you posted (if the photo is actually where you are)…and I honestly loved it when I was there this summer. There is a free zoo and botanical gardens not too far that could be nice for an afternoon away before it gets too cold. Google it up or send me an email if you want specifics. You are in my prayers.

  6. Jen Halverson says:

    I just linked here after seeing Tara Livesay comment on your post on Facebook. Welcome to this place…a place I know & love, and that I think you will really like as time goes on (though I know so well that adjustment to a new place can be very hard, so I don’t minimize that). Really love your writing–looking forward to continuing to read along.


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