To Everything, Turn: My Turn

In 1965, Pete Seeger penned a folk song that pointed out that everything changes and that there’s a time and place for that. My turn is coming.

I’ve been static too long, floating on my back in the eddies. That changes soon. Next June I’m going to stay in a monastery (with real nuns!) for thirty days, do some deep thinking, and then write about it what I learn.

No, I’m not kidding. I’m not Catholic, but I do want to hear from a still small Voice there. What better place to listen?

What do I have to think about? Lots. I’ll think about me and I’ll think about a world gone mad. Who and what am I listening to? I’m bothered by all this extra-Biblical posturing, lawlessness, and bald-faced hatred – much of it coming from the pulpit and inside the Church. I’ve heard Christians trumpeting in the wind, earthquakes, and fire, but never sense God in these. The Golden Rule and the Greatest (and second greatest) Commandment have gone missing. That’s a damnable pity. These chafe me. Like the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 11:19,11-13, if you remember your Bible), I’ll wait for the gentle whisper, thank you. It’s time for that.

Several years ago, a friend of mine took me to St. Gertrude’s while we were making field visits for work. The monastery has a strong land stewardship ethic and had asked the agency I worked for to help them on a project. I was amazed to see the magnificent castle-like monastery perched on the hillside above the Camas Prairie near Cottonwood, Idaho. There was a sense of rest there. Peace. More recently I learned about their Artist in Residency Program and applied. I couldn’t help myself.

The Artist Residency at St. Gertrude is a month-long residency for women visual artists, musicians, and writers to spend time with their practices in a monastic setting amidst the Benedictine Sisters of Cottonwood, Idaho. Today I had an interview for the Program and found out that next June I’ll stay in the Monastery (on the fifth floor, but NOT a dismal garret, said Sister Theresa), joining the community in meals and other aspects of community life.

The goal of my time there is ostensibly to work on my memoir – the story of my life – but I have these questions I want to ask. So fittingly, once there I’ll focus on The God Questions. He’s been a constant thread through my life since I was a child. A frayed thread of late.

Between now and next June, there’s a lot of ground to cover, a lot of writing to do about many other things. So, stay tuned. But next June is a stepping aside, a turning to listen and consider. I can’t wait!


  1. Awesome!! This journey of life has so many twists and turns—you will experience an amazing viewpoint and self experience!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s