Friday, September 28, 2007

Five Women explore the Sound of Silence


from w
I look forward to watching a new TV program - three in a series - of The Abbey which is a new kind of 'Survivor' where five women live for 33 days in a Benedictine monastory. I am inrigued about how they will survive because no doubt they are not the kind of women who read Thomas Merton, or practice silence, or spend time in Iona type of meditations.
The handout says:
The AbbeyABC TV has announced it’s highly anticipated three-part observational documentary.

THE ABBEY, is to screen from late October this year. THE ABBEY, a special Compass presentation and a first for Australian television, will follow five ordinary Australian women as they spend 33 days and nights living the life of an enclosed nun.

Following a challenge put forth by ABC TV in June last year, over 1000 women applied to enter THE ABBEY, willing to swap their car keys and wallets for prayer books and meditation. As they leave behind the hectic pace of modern day living, the women have the chance to embark upon a search for meaning, God, and the self.

THE ABBEY, based in a beautiful bush land setting two hours from Sydney, is home to Australia’s first enclosed monastic community, where 32 nuns have all vowed to live the Benedictine way of life. Never before has the outside world entered the cloisters of THE ABBEY, until they allowed ABC TV unprecedented access to film the experiment.

How will the women cope with the 4am wake-up call and the seven daily visits to The Abbey Church? Will they be able to live by the nun’s 1500 year-old Rule of Silence, Obedience, and Renunciation for over a month?
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The Age ran an article introducing some of the five women who participated and this photo is from that newspaper.
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I don't think I could survive one day because I WILL NOT be told what to do by anyone. However I think silence is really golden, and quietening down instead of incessant chatter is really worthwhile. I attended a service at a monastory about 2 k from our home one evening and was most uncomfortable in the 20 minute periods of silence until I eventually got into the groove and realized its value.

Some time ago, I wrote a short story which was published called 'The Purple Room' which was about a performance artist who was enclosed in a monastory for many days. It's a bit long to publish here.

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2 Comments:

Blogger karlajean said...

not so sure how the women will do, but looks like a FABULOUS challenge.
yes to common lectionary...and your note confirms I am on the right path! thanks!!!

6:57 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

They showed a few clips ahead of the series and it seems the women were still allowed to wear their usual clothes. I was talking with a nun recently and she said it was so wonderful the day she took off her cumbersome medieval garb. However some sisters apparently still dress in the habit.
w.

2:55 AM  

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