Monasteries of the Heart

Old Monk 1

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I’m writing a book called “Old Monk” and thought it would be fun—and good discipline for me--to share these with you as I work on them. Hope you enjoy.

1
Old Monk has spent fifty years in the monastery.
She is left with a life of good deeds,
at least three friends to carry her casket
a bagful of poems
and a nagging ache
that she chose the wrong road
when she left father and mother
for some sake or other.

I was talking with a sister who was leaving the community and she asked me, “Don’t you every think about leaving?” I looked at her and smiled, “I think about it every day.” There must be someone out there—a wife, an executive, an artist, a husband, you—who also wonders, “Did I make the right life choice? Is my life worth anything? What if….” I have a friend who says, “It’s not why you came to the monastery that counts, it’s why you stayed.” Oh well, as my dying father said when I went to check to see if he was breathing, “I’m still here.”