This morning, I thought I'd write a poem about the monastery dog. At first I felt sorry for the monastery dog. She seemed so eager for attention. I thought about all the children who would never be part of her world.
Yet as my week-end at the monastery proceeded, I decided that the monastery dog was lucky. She had a never-ending supply of visitors who would likely pet her. The monks would take care of her. Not every community has taken a vow of hospitality, after all. She could have been abandoned to a much worse fate.
And she had vast fields at her disposal. No cooped up back yards for her. Her joy at racing across the grounds made me happy too.
So, did I write that poem? No, not yet.
Instead, as I was catching up on old NPR shows, this line leapt out at me: "My coffee maker is texting me again." The rest of the show talked about technology and smart appliances (meaning wired and communicative) and smart houses.
I thought, oh great, just what I need, inanimate objects announcing their needs. Get in line, inanimate objects. I thought about the coffee maker, who assumes its needs should take priority, and its bleating of its needs by way of text--a metaphor for modern life, to be sure.
I thought about Mepkin Abbey and the new retreat center:
The roof is made of copper. The guestmaster monk said that an unexpected benefit of the roof is that copper blocks cell phone signals.
All of these items converged in my brain this morning. The quote above starts my poem: "My coffee maker is texting me again."
And I end this way:
I dream of draping every roof
in copper to block connectedness.
Once it seemed miraculous to speak to satellites.
Now I long for silence.
Best Essay Collections of 2017 by Women Authors
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