Jan 8, 2012

A New Flat for a New Year

Gifts from a good friend in Slovakia
Just in time for the feast of the Epiphany, internet service has been turned on for my new and cozy flat in the Podoli district of Prague. I love the new living space, quite a bit smaller than the previous flat, but somehow so much more peaceful and conducive to prayer, writing and study - with a lovely 10 sq meter terrace overlooking a hillside. Just to be able to go outside in the evening and sit with a hot cup of tea makes me feel like I've been away somewhere for the whole weekend. A very prayerful silent place. Even the rambunctious and very friendly five year old boy next door can't be heard through the very thick walls.  I'm quite astonished by the utter silence and peace. In my previous flat, with it's spectacular view of the river and castle, I could hear one of my very own students, a 15 year old Korean boy named Sung Po, bouncing around upstairs and shouting at his sister. Here nothing penetrates the walls, it is complete stillness.

Here are a few photos of no real interest to anyone but myself. The large luminous paintings of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary were given to me by a devout Slovak friend, and the paintings come, in fact, from Slovakia. They are a 'bit much,' yet they make me feel strangely comforted and somehow I feel they are supposed to be here, watching over this silent space and offering inspiration.

I had to move to this flat because I will no longer be teaching drama at the international school next year. At the age of 68, the school felt it was time for me to retire and, recognizing the hand of Providence moving me to concentrate more on my writing, I graciously accepted their 'offer' to pursue other interests. However, I've already landed two small drama teaching jobs next year with local theater companies and all feels right with the world. I've also just entered the UK Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger contest, for the best debut crime novel of the year. I hope at the very least to get on the short list. This move feels like the guiding hand of Providence revealing a major shift in my life towards a greater focus upon writing. Lord grant me the peace and fortitude to discover and live out your gracious will for me. Lord have mercy and thank you for all of your gifts for the present and the future. Watch over all of those I care for and bring peace to the world and instill harmony and understanding within and between the world's religions. Amen.

Library, reading and prayer corner

My young friend Michal, helping me order the internet connection.

A very cozy and peaceful spot

View from the terrace

second sofa pulls out into a bed.


JD said...

I love the painting! Best of luck in the writer's contest. I submitted my first short story to a contest this year. Alas, nothing! I suppose one can only try again.