Thursday, August 30, 2007

Convent of Extinct Nuns

7 comments:

R J Keefe said...

Fantastic! I hope there's more where that came from!

Naked nuns! You begin to sound like a pornographing abbé in Eighteenth-Century France.

tater said...

Thank you for this tale of the chair. I enjoyed your sentimentality, your interest in the background of this find, but especially your soothing voice. I suppose you are a good singer as well?

Cooper said...

You have such an inimitable style! I have always felt it in your writing, and now I hear it in your words, too.

I love it when something I own has a "history" ... either real or imagined, that I can ponder and exclaim and dream about ...

BigAssBelle said...

oh that was fabulous! and it seems like you really got into it, i mean into it there at the point of "heavy, sensible black leather . . . faster and faster" . . .

loved it. this is why it's so difficult for me to work in my warehouse, which is stacked floor to ceiling, front to back, side to side, with antique furniture. all old things speak to me and there is a veritable cacophony coming from the warehouse door. i'm safe in the office for the moment, but still find myself inexorably drawn to things with a story.

like you! you definitely have stories. and i am definitely at your service ~ just email me. bigassbelle (at) gmail.com . . .

evilganome said...

As a product of a Catholic school taught by nuns, I had to think about this a bit before I commented.

Then this morning I remembered my mother telling me about when she was first married and she and my father lived in Windsor, Vermont. The apartment they let was just down the street from a Catholic training center and there was a house of novitiates with a big porch that ran around the house. In the same town there was also a seminary where young men were being prepared for the priesthood and on summer nights they would get together for parties at this convent. According to my mom there were quite the booze ups and I can somehow see back through time, this big house on a dead end street in 1948 with all these young people, their future planned out before them. Were there still oblates in this convent, women with no vocation, who were given by their families to the church?

All these young people in black, gathered on a porch in some back water in Vermont, grabbing what they could of their youth before it was snatched away from them for a life of duty.

I wonder how many of them managed to say "To hell with this!", and ran off as you imagined your young nun?

David said...

You have quite the vivid imagination. And you seem to channel Tennessee Williams when you become the raconteur.

Mike said...

I lived next door to the rectory which was next door to a convent full of mostly French-Canadian nuns. (The parish church and school were on the other side of the convent.)

Such a shame that the orders are dying out. Most of the nuns were very nice, a couple of mean ones (probably frustrated lesbians), some of them ancient. (Nuns live to very old age beyond the stats for ordinary populations.)

One of my earliest memories was going to Canada with my family for a short vacation, and we visited with one of my mother's relatives, who was a cloistered nun in one of those huge convents of which you speak.

It was all very gothic. Heavy doors, heavy furniture, the front door featured a small window in the shape of a bishop's mitre, where they looked out to see who was there for a visit.

It was a time when the old order of Quebec was breaking down all around them, but who knew how thoroughly it could just disintegrate in one generation.