I have the luxury of a three-day weekend, and I decided to spend today at home in my pjs! When I had surgery two years ago, Melissa gave me the greatest gift - the most useful, luxurious, practical things. I'm these wearing comfy pink plaid flannel bottoms she got me, a nice old stretchy top and a long, snuggly pink fleece robe, just like hers! It feels so good, and looks so catalogue-perfect pulled together, I want to go to the grocery store and the movies in this getup! A cooler head prevailed, and I napped, played on the computer, read, and watched an amazing film. Into Great Silence is a glimpse of life in the monastery in Chartreuse, France. The monks spend their days in silence, in prayer and solitude. They gather in the sanctuary for sung prayers throught the night and day, have dinner together every Sunday (silent but for one brother reading spiritual material to the group) and go for walks together in the woods and countryside once a week, where they do converse and and enjoy nature and one another's company. (The sequence of watching some of them sliding down part of the mountain above the monastery, laughing in the snow was touching, seeing them fool around like the houseful of college boys next door during half time on a Sunday.) The light is pure and the quiet of ancient stone echoing the birdsong outside is spare and other-worldly. Empty Moorish-looking passageways full of sunlight, individual monks in prayer ritual in their cells, views of the sanctuary from thirty feet above as the monks take their places for prayers, the one monk who cooks and maintains the kitchen gardens going about his celery chopping and spring snow clearing with vigor, care and serenity, the individual pools of golden light that wink on in the sanctuary in the pitch black of three a.m. prayers, and the voices lifting in plainsong chant, all are expected but nonetheless captivating, drawing me into this mixture of ancient and modern ways.
I can hear the television playing The Wizard of Oz downstairs... what a contrast!