Monday, October 15, 2007

Contemplating Jamberoo

from w

An informative website introduces the TV series and other related links are worth reading. I watched the first of the TV series on Sunday night with interest as the five women arrived and settled into the unique situation - slowly - and with discomfort - to the gruelling routine of Benedictine life at the Jamberoo Abbey of enclosed nuns. Sister Hilda however, who did the voice-over, and figured predominantly in their introduction, appeared to be a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is, feisty nun. The visiting women were a disparate lot - each different with plenty of baggage to unload as they started periods of silence and order and gave away their mobiles, etc. It will be interesting to see how the Samoan/Australian girl gets on. She at least can surely sing!

I have wondered about days off and quietness and meditation and I value brief (20 minutes) times of reflection and unwinding. But as I watched the routine and discipline and order of Benedictine rules I got so annoyed. The music was monotonous, monocultural, and I longed to shake up the routine with some jazz, some Pacific Island gospel, multicultural stuff. Meals without speaking was a shock - well, there was a reader and the clatter of cutlery. If I went to such a place I would want to turn it upside down - get the women singing different songs, start painting, start writing, bring in lots of newspapers, the internet. Wear colourful clothes like in that funny movie about the couple who hide out with the Amish people. How can you pray about the world without knowing it?

Okay that's my rant for the day. I would never make a nun, for sure. I need the rhythm of life with variety and change and surprises. Maybe, that Sister Wendy is a bit of alright though - the one who waltzed throughout the European art galleries and got excited about paintings and their meanings.

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