A monastery bell is ironically consistent about one particular thing. It always calls for change. Time to stop one activity and begin another. The sections of a monastic day are spoken into being by the bells.
Part of me hungers for such bells. I almost crave the insistent rhythms of their voices. Predictable, familiar, reliable, steady bells that would insure my prayer and rest; bells that would regulate and balance the pieces of my life.
"Just as soon as we are familiar with one set of daily bells ringing," wrote one of you in the Parlor, "another set replaces them." Don't we know the truth of this. Seasons come and go, bringing school bells and wake-up alarms, church bells and wedding bells, baby cries and phones and stovetop buzzer "bells." They change with every passing year.
Predictable, familiar, reliable, steady? No. Out here, it's just not that way.
During this monastic day, bells of "things that must be done" ring out to me. The calls to prayer, however, are not automatic. I must find ways to ring them for myself. Notes stuck to a mirror, a watch alarm, a phone beep.... I have to make my own reminders.
When it comes to prayer, I must ring my own bells.
Anyone wishing to share on this is invited to click on this line to do so in The Parlor.