Monday, October 22, 2007

Life is some scary stuff!

This October is an anniversary month of sorts for me: I turned 57, I left my library job on October 13th last year and this week marks a year since the movers dropped off our life's belongings and I began unpacking. I let the rain last week irritate me until I realized I was moping around under the spell of the 'anniversary reaction' but this week I'm beginning to think of myself as a Minnesotan. A year of adjustment, exploration and healing of mind & body has literally flown by and here I am feeling a new sense of belonging in my space on the planet. During this period of adjustment I've had the luxury of not working an outside job but that prospect is looming again. Here's the part where I can make the admission that 'I don't wanna!' and not get slapped or laughed at. I'm a homebody to the depths of my melancholy heart and nobody enjoys her freedom more than me. . .not to say that I'm not a good worker, etc. and admittedly I miss library work, but finding a job is always a scary proposition for me. Not one to rush into things, I've found a creative way to address my fear using Eleanor Roosevelt's mantra about facing fear and the 'Be Brave Project' on the delightful blog Diary of a Self-Portrait where Josie explains about doing one thing every day that scares (the hell out of) you . She is also a talented artist so her illustrations are beautiful as well as witty and encouraging.

Our weekend took us west to St. Joseph to visit the St. Benedictine Monastery and an exhibit called THE VISION UNFOLDING: From Eichstätt, Bavaria, to St. Joseph, Minnesota – 150 Years about the history of the Benedictine Sisters in America. 'Six nuns from St. Walburg Abbey in Eichstätt, Bavaria, emigrated to St. Cloud in 1857 to teach the children of European settlers and later relocated to St. Joseph in 1863 to build a monastery. The nuns have engaged in a variety of work, from farming to the domestic and fine arts. They baked, cooked, cleaned, laundered, sewed, bound books, wove cloth, designed vestments and made candles. They have been administrators, organists, liturgists, catechists, archivists, librarians, poets, mentors, tutors and advocates for the poor.' (St. Cloud Times, 7/07) I was interested in this monastery because I spent six years of elementary school taught by Benedictine nuns who originated from this first convent in the United States. My own experience wasn't the best, remember that was the 1950's, but I still have great admiration for their courage and faith. As I walked through the cemetary I realized that most of the young nuns who came after the first seven arrived had died from poor living conditions, weather and tuberculosis. The average age at death was 28 for several years running.

St. Joseph's Orphanage at St. Paul, MN - 1880

Every wall is a door.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dave & Pashka, my Husky-dog


Marianne said...

A very very Happy happy birthday to you!
This is, again, a lovely post and yes, sometimes the 'boogeyman' lives and takes the shape of most anything...

Old Wom Tigley said...

Beautiful post, loved reading this as much as seeing your pictures.
I have a walk near me the looks just like the one in the bottom picture. I had to look real close at that one.
Thanks for visiting me and taking the time to comment.. I'll call back soon.

Granny Smith said...

Happy belated birthday! You have convinced me, through your photographs, that Minnesota is a beautiful place to live.


Inland Empire Girl said...

Happy Birthday. That last picture of the path and trees is amazing. I love tree pictures so much.

Jo said...

Happy birthday to you and I have to say I had your age all wrong.....I thought you were about 28. Isn't it weird how we can so mis-age someone? You have the energy of the young, methinks! What's your secret, I could do with some (GRIN)?

kris said...

Happy Birthday!! (I turned 57 in May - but I had in my head that you were much younger!)

An interesting trip to St Joseph - I've never been there.

Love the photos - the jack-o-lantern is wonderful!

Eagle Rider said...

Perhaps you should follow your heart and do what you love. I am sure the benefits would out weight the gains, and most definatey the loses of returning to the world of toil.

AnnieElf said...

Dear moving, Noni. A little sad, and darn right funny in moments. October has become my changing month too (as you well know from following my recent posts - God bless you). The Benedictine history was fascinating and I'll explore that link a bit more. They are all growing so old. Where are the young nuns these days?

david mcmahon said...

Love your photoggraphy. We seem to be drawn to capture the same sights.

October is a big month in ouir clan as well!!

Julie Marie said...

I am so sorry I missed your birthday. Please email me and tell me the date so I can properly laud your day next year.