Monday, July 30, 2007

Into Great Silence

I was able to get home a little early on Friday afternoon and have some quiet time alone. I decided to use the time to watch a film entitled "Into Great Silence". It was a 3 1/2 hour film about the Carthusian monastery called La Grande Chartreuse in France. The film was mostly in silence. What few words were spoken were in French with English subtitles. All other sounds were natural sounds such as rain falling, bells ringing, monks chanting or the day to day sounds of everyday life. This film was not a documentary in the traditional sense. I found it to be visual poetry. It was a 3 1/2 meditation on silence and solitude and the mystery of God. No one could call this film exciting but I was mesmerized by it. The Carthusian monks are the most austere and strict monastic order in the Catholic Church. Very few people are called to such a life. I was happy, however, on a quiet and solitary afternoon in my life, to get a glimpse into their life. I find it a comfort that there are such people living such a life.

I was reminded of the monks as I lay in my bed on Friday night. There was a delightful rainstorm in my little corner of the world. The day had cooled enough for me to open my bedroom window so I could enjoy the sound. Can it get any better than going to bed on a Friday night with the pouring rain outside your window and the alarm clock turned off?

Much of my Saturday was spent doing the great grandparent tour. I was also able to see my sister who is here from New York. We had Chloe with us so everyone could see her as well. She and I spent some time running around in my parents backyard. As a result we both ended up with bug bites on our bare legs. By the end of the night I was very tired. As usual, Chloe slept like a log beside me as I clung to the edge of the bed. At 7:45 AM on Sunday I was downstairs watch Madagascar. I guess she's temporarily burned out on Ice Age...The Meltdown. By the time she left on Sunday afternoon, I was really, really tired. When she left with her father I was home alone again. I sat in my chair and allowed myself to be wrapped in the peace and quiet even though my living room looked like a war zone. Now it is Monday morning again and the start of a new week. According to the weatherman it promises to hot and dry week with temperatures in the low 90's all week. When I feel the heat I would mentally transport myself to La Grande Chartreuse. Much of the film was shot in the winter when deep snow surrounded the monastery and covered the mountains and nearby forests.

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