A free day from work, a pleasant day relaxing. The Master Cleanse is complete and I am back to eating solid food after thirteen days of fasting. For some reason, maybe getting old, this fast really wore me down, several times exhaustion completely overwhelmed me, three times during Mass. All said and done, I feel good, exercise now taking precedence. The elliptical machine—a clearance item from Sears, a fifteen-hundred-dollar floor model with slight cosmetic damage, was delivered last week. All total, costing me under six hundred dollars. During my stay at Highland Springs, Dr. Farivar spoke to me about a thyroid issue. He asked me if I felt tired and like crap quite a bit. I laughed and said, “Now that you mention it. I thought I was just getting old and out-of-shape”. I am not clear on details, understanding the closed-loop process of my thyroid may be a bit defective, too much of something being called for. He stressed there was nothing to worry about, although I should make an immediate appointment with my personal physician for greater attention. This Thursday, I will meet for the first time a physician I was referred to, a woman from the country of Georgia. I recall once researching the cave monastery of Vardzia in Georgia. If all goes well, she will become my personal physician. Today, I left St Paul Shrine immediately after Mass. A full itinerary planned, I wanted to start my day, heading for the west side of Cleveland. Social activity at the Shrine was to be avoided, although I did make plans with Father Roger for a one-on-one session this coming week. We have not spent personal time together for months. I look forward to the conversation. I am finding peace in a solitary life, although coalescing with a deeper comfort in an expanded prayer life is the realization of anger entrenched within my soul. I recall words from one of my poems, something about “I can feel the wrath of my father breathing through the blood in my eyes”. With no bitterness, embracing love and compassion, I am positive the angry spirit is one passed on by my father. There were things that happen to him as a child that created intense hurt and thus his response of anger. Anger is difficult to get rid of once it takes hold, an obstinate wound festering. Frustration and explosions of temper were my father’s way. Yet within that stubbornness was a determination to be an outstanding father and dedicated husband, a man committed to his family, taking his wife and children to Mass every Sunday. My father was a good man, yet his legacy of anger I am positive I inherited. I accept it, while trying to grow beyond it, allowing it to exercise itself until it has tired itself out. It is a process, and I humbled when experiencing grace tending to the severity. My plans for the day were centered upon an exploration of the Lakewood library. My card expired several months ago, calling for a personal visit to renew it. The library is a favorite due to their expansive music and film collection. I am enamored with the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, discovering the Lakewood library has a handful of his DVDs. Wonderfully, his first film ‘The Steamroller and the Violin’, a children’s movie some relate to the French ‘Red Balloon’—a huge influence on my childhood, was one of the films. I am pleased Tarkovsky is revealed to me at this time. I am intrigued how God keeps in reserve encounters, saving someone like Tarkovsky for my elder years. It is soul comforting to find an artist who broadens my interest in life. I have also taken to listening to poetry while driving, exploring the words of Emily Dickinson. Her life was truly interesting, living with her parents all her life in a conservative Puritan Christian home and community. Her and her sister rarely left their childhood home, socially encountering few, while all the time she grew immensely as a poet. I will be posting some of her poems in the near future, at this time absorbing. I will post this photo of her as I find her appearance intriguing, a simple soul who seemingly remained in a state of innocence, while also managing to mature spiritually.
Drawing away from others, I find the solitary life appealing, focusing more and more acutely upon a life in Vermont. A concentration upon a life of prayer and service to the Carthusians aligns with my life’s experience, a settling into contemplation. At my age, I am consoled with the idea of remaining a layperson, committing myself wholeheartedly to obedience to the community, while not swearing vows. I have been through too much to identify myself as a religious. It is more appropriate to live a life of a religious, while not calling myself a religious. Concluding my daytrip to the west side was the Benediction service with the Poor Clares Colettines on Rocky River Rd, a truly splendid prayerful practice I have not exercised in months. It was the start of a Novena to St Colette.