The skin of the world is worn thin here. Seven times a day the monks chant the ancient poetry of God saving his people and showing his mercy. Seven times a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year since 1848. Each prayer by each monk wears down the thick hide of the world, that covering that insulates from the spirit, from feeling, from the deeps of even our own being.

Here the skin is thin and permeable. The spirit of God moves easily and effortlessly into the world of the monastery, moves easily and deftly into my soul. It is the quiet, the quiet. It is in the quiet that I can dive into my deeps. It is there that I can meet and embrace myself, all of my selves: ego, id, superego, shadow self, my self, the archetypal self, and finally The Self. It is through this solitude that I can begin the journey back home, back to who I was before I became anyone. Back home, all the way back to him who knitted me in my mother’s womb.

Jesus said that we were in the world but not of the world. I begin to know what he meant. In my own world of thick hides and cacophonous noise, I must find a small space that I too can wear thin with my prayers, a small space where I can dive and find myself in Him and He in me.