Do you have any authors whose works you read and all for all that they make you feel like a sham with their sheer eloquence, you can’t help but love them? For me, that’s Kathleen Norris. I am, slowly but surely, making my way through The Cloister Walk. I’m doing this intentionally, trying to drag out the beauty of her writing and the words that it’s spoken into my life. That, and the book follows a year-long track, and I’m trying not to get ahead of myself. The next reading is entitled January 2. I guess I’m waiting a month. I did the Christmas reading today, and the Advent reading a couple weeks ago. So I guess I may be getting a little ahead of myself.
Norris’ writing has a way of making you pause, step back, and examine what you value in life. It takes me out of my busy paced day-to-day, and freezes time with her beautiful stories on life and faith. I must admit that her writing makes me want to become a Benedictine oblate, aside from the fact that I’m not Catholic. There is some true beauty and peace to be found in that way of life. One of the things that Benedictines value is community. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about community and my place in it. As a person of faith, community is one of the most important aspects of life. How do you fit that in with a desire to travel for extended periods of time? I don’t mean a week here or there, but a year. By the time you return, life’s gone on without you and you need to work to re-immerse yourself in the place you’ve left. Is it possible to go both deep and wide, or can you only choose one?
It’s amazing how there’s so much life to live, and time stretches out before you, and yet, you can’t get it all done. You have to make choices. You have to decide what you value the most and go for it. What do I value?