Friday, 9 September 2011

Finding freedom in Dachau: Thanks and Goodbye

So here we are, the final post I will make on this blog. Technically the title is now an historical point, as last Wednesday my ASF year drew to a close with a final seminar in Berlin. I am writing this in a dark room that was once my bedroom and is now a walk in wardrobe/Twilight shrine. I have been back in the UK for nine days now, and the day after tomorrow I'll head to Aylesford for the next chapter. As lovely as it has been to see friends and family, this has not been an easy time, as it means ending a part of my life that was so fruitful and full of amazing, life changing experiences.

I miss Germany a lot, not least because of the freedom I felt there. It is true that my next step is intended to be a way towards a freedom of self, but the loss of physical freedom, the ability to leave the house and not have to feel like my parents will worry about where I am, is a harsh one. Also, I did feel during the last few months a freeing of the mind as I began to become more aware of my own potential, which in turn has made my decision to reject a lot of that physical freedom to go out when I like, to do as I please, that much harder.

So my final feeling about Dachau is a paradox. Through doing something that was not pleasant, not easy and at times painful, I found freedom in a place where for twelve years it was denied to so many. There have been opportunities, chances that I missed or turned away from that with hindsight I would have faced differently, yet I have learned that to regret is to hold on to something that is no longer there, which makes it all the more painful. There will be other times; life is precious and will go on whether I stay on as a friar at the end of this coming year or leave for another adventure.

This is the final post on this blog. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have read this blog at some point or another. It has been nice to hear such positive feedback about my blogposts. I find it interesting to see how as the months have gone on the purpose of this blog has changed. While first it was all about the work and my place in it, as the months have gone on it has become rather introspective and reflective on how all this will affect me in the coming months. To see whether all my cynicism and fears about the novitiate were justified, you'll have to head over to my new blog at I've set it up as a place for me to post bits and pieces sporadically, as I am not sure how often I will be able to use the internet, or if I will want to. It's called STORK for reasons explained on the site. Go check it out from time to time.

This is where I say goodbye and thanks again for sharing the past year with me. To quote Ferris Bueller from Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.


ROY :)

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