Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Sailing Ship of Nuns

Two weeks ago, we'd have been finishing up our sailing trip.  I've been remembering a scene that I don't want to forget--it's a scene that seems like it should be full of symbolic possibilities for my fiction and/or poetry writing.  Or is it too obvious?

As we sailed back towards the marina, we passed a boat going out.  At first, it looked like any other boat.  But as it passed us, we realized it was full of nuns--roughly 6-8 of them.

You might ask how we knew they were nuns.  They were dressed in full habit--the traditional habit that nuns used to wear.  So, on an afternoon that had highs in the mid-90's, they wore long robe-like, white garments with long sleeves and their hair was completely covered.

Still, they looked like they were having a good time.  Two of them reclined on seats with their faces turned up to the sun.  Some of them stood and surveyed the horizon.  Several men were also on the sailboat, but I couldn't tell if they wore collars or not.

I'm not sure why it seemed like such a disconnect.  I've known monastic communities and read about them, and I realize that they're as human as any of the rest of us.  But I've never seen anyone in full habit out on the Chesapeake Bay or any other place body of water.

So, if I was using this nugget in my creative writing, I wonder what kind of plot twist it would introduce.  What does a sailboat full of nuns in full habit signify?

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