Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Convent and solitude

Here is a photo of the convent that is on my ride. I was thinking it was monastary but it is actually a Dominican convent and girls school. It is in a beautiful location. The Ironman bike route goes right by it so it is a very popular place to cycle here. Sometimes while school is in session, all of the girls will be out playing basketball in long skirts and the nuns will sometimes take shots as well. Sometimes in the evenings when I ride there will be a nun out for a walk along the road. I've often wondered what life must be like for the nuns and the girls living there. And there is something european or Italian about it with the convent there and the cyclists going by. (I like to think that anyway)

There's also a feeling seperation and an isolation. I feel it when I ride by and I wonder if the girls who occasionally wave feel the same way. I came by there last Sunday while they were having mass. The door was open, but my place was on my bike. Now and then when I ride by, I'm part of their world, and they are part of mine if only for a short while.

Sister Wendy Beckett talks about solitude HERE I saw that interview on TV and they left out one of the most interesting things she said. She was asked if she would get lonely when she went back into seclusion, and she said; "Loneliness is needy, it wants. Solitude is fulfillment, it has." That always stuck with me.

BTW, I loved her PBS programs on viewing art. If you ever get a chance to watch them they are very good.


Diane said...

Wow. That is a gorgeous convent. Nuns shooting hoops has got to be an interesting sight!!

The rest of that ride has got to be gorgeous as well.

"Loneliness is needy, it wants; Solitude is fufillment, it has" is a great quote. For some silly reason it reminds me of a discussion on one of the "The Tick" episodes. Batmanuel and Captain Liberty discuss the nuances between "lone" and "alone". Let's just say it has a funny outcome.

don said...

Yes it is a beautiful place to ride with lots of interesting options. I'm very lucky in this respect. I took a few photos this morning and I'll post another one later.

Curt said...

Beautiful photo, I have been by that same mission on a bike ride.

Speaking of solitude and isolation... a quote from the Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda from his 1971 Nobel lecture:

"From all this, my friends, there arises an insight which the poet must learn from other people. There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song -but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny."

don said...

I think Pablo was onto something curt. Solitude and difficulty is a good way to describe some of my bike rides. Sorrowful and clumsy are good ways to describe my singing and dancing. :)

That is a cool quote. Thanks for stopping in.