So Sr. Julie over at A Nun’s Life mentioned a blog she’d found, Notes from Stillsong Hermitage. Sr. Laurel is a diocesan hermit according to the Camaldolese Benedictine tradition. And reading her blog, I wonder where she was a few years ago. That, and I’m thankful for the internet, because not long ago, she and I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths, even virtually.
I’m quickly getting into what Sr. Susan calls the “unbloggables,” here, but I found myself nodding along in agreement to just about everything on her blog that I’ve read, but also this post. I realize that the call to prayer, communion, and witness is something everyone is called to, but it’s different. I’m not sure I’m quite able to articulate it, but there’s a hole, of sorts, that only God can fill.
No matter what I try to stuff at it, that hole is still there. The community I had at CalArts couldn’t do it. My parish can’t. Even the Hoopy Frood, who I’d never give up in a zillion years, can’t fill it. To expect them to fit that hole is a kind of pride–it sets them up in a role they can’t ever fulfill. It demands more out of them that they’re humanly able to give.
I think that little life lesson came into clear focus here, during my doctorate. I don’t have the same kind of relationships, here, that I had at CalArts. It’s nobody’s failing–it’s just life. The kind of community I had at CalArts is nonexistent here, and I can’t look to others for validation of what I do, since part of the process of getting a doctorate is being able to work independently. It’s a scary position to be in: on the one hand, it’s easy to forget your own failings. On the other hand, it’s too easy to focus on every little flaw.
I spent so much time fighting against the solitude I found myself in, but what if this is where I’m supposed to be?