Musings from a Housebound Heretic

Welcome to my virtual cloister. Here you will find stories of triumph and tribulation, recipes to nourish your body and soul, suggestions for creative expression, guided contemplations, and glimpses of my daily rituals.

Why a cloister? Because for most of my life I have been enamoured with various monastic practises. As a little child, I put a pillowcase on my head and made everyone call me “Mary Martha”. While other kids were building blanket forts I was constructing carboard cathedrals. My parents were (are?) staunch athiests and my ideas about ‘church’ were arising from my imagination. I had certainly never been to church yet I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be there.

This cloister call is always with me and in my late teens I got serious about walking the path of monasticism. In my early 20’s I found my community of faith as a Third Order Anglican monastic – which means I didn’t wear a habit or live cloistered, although I did take vows of celibacy, obedience, and poverty. Things progressed nicely and then in my late 40’s while on a silent pilgrimage I realized I wanted nothing to do with an organized, heirarchical, colonizing, patriarchal, white supremist institution. And maybe I’m not even a Christian? Dark times ensued for many years.

Thru much toil and trouble I find myself once again on firm ground. It takes a lot effort to move out of despair, doesn’t it? Some of the efforting takes place in solitude and some in community. It’s messy and at times it’s two steps forward and three back. Everyone has different needs when it comes to recovery and only you know what you need. One thing that I need is to connect in conversation. And so, here I am, inviting you into a conversation. This is our cloister of connection.

Cloisters are physical places where like-minded people gather to live and work. They are places of refuge from the larger society and I’ve learned that they can also be virtual places. As a person who lives with chronic illnesses and who’s often housebound for great lengths of time, I’ve had to figure out how to find purpose and meaning in life while being sequestered from society. My cloister is where I work that out. Let this be a place were we can make connections and work some things out. Let this be a place where we can be messy. Let’s set that intetion for our virtual cloister. Okay?

It takes all kinds to make a cloister and you’re welcome here. Stay awhile. May you find ease and lovingkindness here.