narragansett – the novitiate
January 23, 2011
I’m working on a Novitiate text-page and it’s slow going, mainly because I’m not sure how to tell the story. The narrative of my time in the Novitiate is a bit complex. Which story do I tell – the John Veale one, the Benilde story, the house-driver story, the dorm-cloister story, the windmill-cottage story, the wrestling-in-the-grass story?
The Brother John Story – I had placed this grave-marker image at the end of the set, the last one on the text-page, but instead decided to start the series and the narrative with it. I wanted to lead with it as he was such a huge figure in that long-ago time. He was the Director of Novices and he still permeates the perimeter of my feelings about that long-ago.
Each novice met with the Director once a week. It was my first experience with one-to-one counseling. I remember complaining to him, because the Brother Provincial would pull me out of afternoon Manual Labor to play tennis. (Manual Labor was one of the rhythms of novitiate life.) Can you imagine complaining about not doing manual labor? And my Manual Labor assignment was cleaning the common rooms on the ground level. I hate cleaning. I refuse to do it now, but back then I complained about not getting to do it. Actually, I did not like being excused from the Manual Labor assignment when everyone else still had to do it. (Even back then I had socialist tendencies.)
I’ve got the text-page done, but am procrastinating on the captions. The story-telling happens in the captions. Now, I can make the captions as cryptic as I want after all I am the author and who’s going to challenge their authenticity?