the end of the pathpublished: 2014-07-12
I’m in a cloister in Belgium. Now and then a monk in a brown habit scurries past me. I feel painfully aware of my unreligious nature. Not that they really care, I think. I’m simply one of the paying guests here. The only paying guest. They’re good at avoiding eye contact.
The people I’m visiting in Belgium have opened their lives to me. This couple lives in silence amidst their books and cats. Old and rare books. The curtains are drawn so as to protect the library. I am here to study some of these books. They have no children and the woman is an only child herself. I feel sad at the thought of not having my sisters or my son. Perhaps she in turn feels sad at the thought that I will never have shared my life with the same man for over fifty years.
Today, I decided to walk to the end of the path in the cloister’s garden. I didn’t dare to yesterday evening. There had been light at the end of it and I had stopped half way, scared. I forced myself to walk to the end now. The path led to a small altar. In it stood a small and damaged piéta.