The World's Gonna Eat You Alive

Before I left the monastery, I timidly told Father Silouan that maybe God was sending me back to the world to spread the peace and love I’d encountered in their refreshing monastic refuge with the chaotic world outside. He quickly laughed at me, which activated a pride that had remained relatively dormant for the last few months, and said some words that stuck with me ever since:

“The world’s gonna eat you alive,” he said.

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I am Loved, Therefore I am

Academically speaking, I travelled to the Holy Monastery of the Archangel Michael to ask questions and conduct research for a series of essays. Existentially speaking, I was prodded by some vague longing to dive deeper into the mystical world of Orthodox Christian spirituality.  

Now, I leave with the feeling that my journey is only beginning, as my monk brothers bid farewell to a man called Porphyrios. Dane, it seems, has been swallowed up by a new mode of existence.

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I am a Beautiful Speck

There’s no permanent trail leading to the ridge overlooking “Little Cappadocia” ­– those spired and spindling rock formations behind the monastery property that sprout up like stalagmites from the desert floor. But, if you’re willing to slug through soft sand and shifting hillside, you’ll eventually arrive at a vista point that rewards you with a scene that offers no assistance in replenishing your breath.
 
From here, you can witness the wind transporting white clouds swiftly overhead and their shadows changing the color of the earth-tone canvas below to a darkened brown. Lake Abiquiu’s blue coves cut away at the red rocks and the water beams like turquoise jewelry on native skin.

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