Solitary Bird (solitarybird) wrote,
Solitary Bird
solitarybird

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The song we sang in every silence

I am an Episcopalian lay woman, in my mid-fifties, from the New York City area. I am exploring whether or not I might have a late calling to a professed life of solitude and silence as a religious hermit, possibly in the context of a contemplative religious order.

This stage of my spiritual journey is at once exciting and daunting. This journal is my record of it. I am doing this partly to help sort out my own thoughts and impressions. I am sharing it for the benefit of friends who are curious about what is happening with me.

There are many, many questions to answer, and many, many micro-steps to take along this path, which branches out in many directions. During a process of discernment, I will explore various religious communities to see whether I am called to be part of them, and if so, in what way; as well as exploring solitary vows. If I find an option that feels right, and want to make a commitment, there is a process of three to six years of testing one's vocation before making a life vow.

In more interior terms, it is a process of surrendering, finding the courage to be totally open to the Holy One, and to oneself.

I begin by copying a few journal entries I have written in the past few months that reveal a bit about my spirituality, and may show how I was drawn into this path. You can progress through the whole story, in order, by clicking "Next Entry" at the top of each page.

Welcome to my journey. I would be grateful for your participation and comments.


I love you, gentlest of Ways
who ripened us as we wrestled with you.

You, the great homesickness we could never shake off,
you, the forest that always surrounded us,

you, the song we sang in every silence,
you, the dark net threading through us,

on the day you made us you created yourself,
and we grew sturdy in your sunlight...

Let your hand rest on the rim of Heaven now
And mutely bear the darkness we bring over you.


--Rainer Marie Rilke: The Book of Hours
Tags: vocation
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  • 11 comments

  • Five years and counting

    Yes, I do try to post once every three years or so... Hard to believe that it has been five years since I began this path. If I were in a community,…

  • The Solitary Witness

    The application asks: Describe what you believe the Solitary witness is… what it involves, and how you believe it differs from other lay vocations.…

  • The gauntlet

    I received the letter from the Diocese of New York, outlining the steps I must take to be considered as an aspirant for the vocation of a Solitary.…