This week in our Monk in the World guest post series we have two beautiful poems from fellow monk and artist Asther Bascuna-Creo who lives in Australia. Read on for her wisdom about silence and the contemplative path:
And in her middle years
she discovers silence.
Not the kind you find
In a remote abbey nor
on a grand cathedral,
Not the type you seek
in silent retreats
nor in places of meditation.
But the sitting down
in the kitchen bench type
The standing in front
of the stovetop type
The folding the week’s washing type
While dinner sizzles over fire
While the washing piles up high
While kids with sticky hands
Ask the day’s hundredth ‘why.’
And this silence overcomes all noise
And this silence surpasses all haste
And this silence provides her peace
A peace that passeth all understanding.
What does it mean to be an artist and monk in the world?
What does it mean for me to be an artist
and a monk in the world?
It means to not reject the existence of darkness
To not mask the images of injustice
To not turn back from pictures of poverty.
But to depict beauty
To discover the hope beyond despair
To advocate simplicity in the midst of excess
To capture silence in the midst of noise
To bring rest amidst hurry
To inspire peace among chaos
And in the face of the bleakness of winter
To announce the coming of spring.
I live in Melbourne, Australia with my husband and three children. I received my primary to secondary education in a school offering the Benedictine tradition, and so have always felt a personal connection with St Benedict. For the past couple of years, as my husband was undergoing his own formation as a candidate for the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, I have been going through my own personal rediscovery of St Benedict's teachings. I am a writer and a communications professional working in the academic sector.