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Friday, November 27, 2015

NOTES FROM ST FRANCIS HOUSE OF HOSPITALITY

NOTES  FROM ST  FRANCIS  HOUSE NEW LONDON CONN: NOVEMBER 2015 LINDA MARY MONTANO
MY SPIRITUAL LIFE:
I AM IN MY 70'S AND HAVE BEEN SPIRITUALLY INFLUENCED BY MY TWO YEARS AS A MARYKNOLL NOVICE IN A CONVENT; MY 19 YEARS OF ADOPTION BY 2 AYRUVEDIC JAIN DOCTORS, A HUSBAND  AND WIFE FROM INDIA, THE MEHTAS; MY 40 YEARS STUDY OF YOGA; MY 2 YEARS LIVING IN INTENSE MEDITATION IN A ZEN MONASTERY; MY 7 YEARS STUDYING TIBETAN BUDDHISM; AND SINCE  1991 A RETURN TO A FLEDGING PRACTICE OF CATHOLICISM.
WHY THE RETURN? AFTER HAVING TAKEN A 7 YEAR JOB AS A COLLEGE PROFESSOR AND NOT KNOWING HOW TO BE A  MODEL OF JUSTICE TO THEM, I STARTED RE-RESEARCHING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH... NOT THE RULES AND REGULATIONS BUT  WAYS TO MODEL GOODNESS.
ANOTHER REASON FOR MY RETURN TO THE RELIGION OF MY BIRTH, IS BECAUSE I WAS TAKING CARE OF MY CONTEMPLATIVE FATHER FOR 7 YEARS AND AFTER THAT I REALLY CAME BACK WITH A NEW MIND, A NEW CURIOSITY, A NEW PERMISSION TO BE THE PRIEST THAT I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE.
AND YES , I MUST ADD, THAT AFTER ONE DAY AT THE "SCHOOL" OF ST FRANCIS HOUSE IN NEW LONDON, I LEAVE WITH THE MISSIING SPIRITUAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE......TO FEED THE HUNGRY, INCLUDING MY (ANOREXIC) SELF.

MY ART LIFE:

MY ART HAS BEEN A METICULOUS MEDICINE AND CURE FOR MY ISSUES, CONCERNS, FEARS AND BROKEN-NESS. MY ART HAS HEALED ME BY PROVIDING ME AN AESTHETIC COMMUNITY CALLED, AUDIENCE. I DONT LIVE WITH THIS COMMUNITY BUT I GATHER THEM WHEN I NEED SUPPORT AND LOVE. THEY BECOME MY DOCTORS, THERAPISTS AND LOVERS: WITNESSES OF MY JOURNEY. MY JOB AS AN ARTIST IS TO CREATE A PERFORMANCE, A VIDEO, A BOOK, A CLASS WHICH INSPIRES THE VIEWER TO GIVE ME ATTENTION AND IN THE EXCHANGE, I GIVE THE AUDIENCE MY ART AND THEN THEY LOVE ME; AND THEN I LEARN TO LOVE ME; AND THEN I CAN LIVE WITHOUT THE AUDIENCE BECAUSE THE DOOR TO THE HEART CHAPEL OF LOVE HAS BEEN OPENED; AND THEN AND NOW, I CAN BEGIN TO STUDY LOVE ITSELF.
 SO THE WORK HAD GROWN OVER 50 YEARS FROM:
1. MY PAIN
2. AUDIENCE VIEWING MY PAIN
3. MY BEING SUPPORTED BY THE AUDIENCE'S SUPPORT AND WITNESSING
4. MY GROWTH INTO FINDING WAYS TO PRACTICE COMPASSION AND SHARE THAT WITH OTHERS.
5. GRADUATING FROM ART AND LIFE ITSELF AND INSTEAD OF ASKING PEOPLE TO WITNESS ME BEING CREATIVE OR FUNNY OR INSPIRING, I HAVE EVOLVED TO MY CURRENT PERFORMANCE TITLED:  MEET A BLACK MADONNA WHICH HAPPENS IN MY HOME, THE TRANSFIGURATION HOSPITAL AND CHAPEL. IT LOOKS SOMETHING LIKE THIS:
PEOPLE COME AND LAY ON THE FLOOR WITH ME IN FRONT OF MARY AND WE LOVE HER AND IN THAT PRACTICE,  WE HEAL TOGETHER. IT HAS STOPPED BEING ABOUT ME.
EVENTUALLY AND WITH PRAYER, I HOPE TO INCORPORATE SHARING A MEAL WITH MY VISITING GUESTS VIA ST FRANCIS HOUSE'S MENTORSHIP AND EXAMPLE.

MY CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS

IN THE 90'S, I MET THE FOUNDER OF CENTERING PRAYER, FATHER THOMAS KEATING, AT ONE OF HIS LECTURES. HE GRANTED  INTERVIEWS TO US AND  IN OUR MEETING, I TOLD HIM THAT I HAD WRITTEN A BOOK TITLED , ART IN EVERYDAY LIFE. HIS RESPONSE WAS SLOW, SONOROUS, NON-JUDGMENTAL AND IN A LIMINAL/ LISTENING VOICE HE SAID SOMETHING LIKE THIS: " WHY NOT TITLE IT GOD IN EVERYDAY LIFE?

 I WENT SILENT AND BLANK AT THAT TIME. AND YET I FIND MYSELF SLIDING SLOWLY AND SWEETLY TOWARD HIS SUGGESTION.....LETTING ART DETHRONE ITSELF AND TRADING IT IN FOR THE DIVINE COMEDY, NOT MINE.
 MAYBE A SNACK WILL BE  INCLUDED!!
ST FRANCIS HOUSE, 2015

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