Tuesday, July 24, 2012

becoming a monk or nun

I can read the desire a thousand times (as I did this morning) and still be touched by the expressed desire to go to a monastery and live as a monk or nun. The yearning, at whatever profound or befuddled depth, is so human in my ear. Touching for anyone inclined towards spiritual life ... deluded, perhaps, but touching. I certainly wouldn't want to deny anyone either the decision or delusion.

But then there's this:

Since everyone is perfectly provided for from the get-go, what is the matter with here? What is the matter with now? What is the matter with this perfectly-serviceable pair of old slippers? Would the rarefied air of the high mountains or the still sweetness of the deep forest or the swish-swishing of a comfortable robe or the burnished peak of a shaved head create a significance and meaning and peace beyond the dirty dishes in the sink?

I'm not trying to dissuade through disdain. Monks and nuns are perfectly nice people most of the time. But still, what's the matter with here? What's the matter with now? Why throw away riches in order to gain a treasure? If you became a monk or nun, what's to say you wouldn't long to become a bus driver or a card shark or a doctor or a pimp?

Yes, I find it touching, the desire to become a monk or nun. And I see nothing wrong in actually doing it: Wherever you go, the dishes will always need washing.

No comments:

Post a Comment