Santa Catalina Convent

Santa Catalina

I’d make a good nun, I think, as long as they’d let me sleep with men once in a while, or at least drink a glass of wine with the best ones. There’s a convent in Arequipa, Peru where the colors alone might convince me of God, and the design patterns laid down in 400 years of domesticity would make up for hard beds. I go there sometimes, during meetings.

By night I’d be a modern Heloise; all wimpled yearning and philosophy. By day, I’d bring my San Francisco consulting chops to the hard-nosed business of contemplation. Through those efforts, and divine co-marketing, The Little Sisters of Perpetual Innovation would find fame with hand-churned chocolate body paint, and artisanal wikis.

Santa Catalina monastery

7 thoughts on “Santa Catalina Convent”

  1. A Peruvian convent? Saturated colors? Hard beds? Hand-churned chocolate body paint? Nevermind. I lost my train of thought.


  2. A close friend of mine is a parish priest by day and an organizational development consultant the rest of the time. Once working with IBM, the workers were trying to convince him of what life was like in a global hierarchical organization where the centre was remote and no one seemed to care what you think.

    “You work for Big Blue,” he said. “I work for Big Black.”


  3. I sent this to my Catholic co-workers, Chris; the consensus is “yep, sums it up…”

    Matthew, my train of thought jumped the tracks about six months ago. You’re the innocent bystander.


  4. The prospect of secluded contemplation, leavened by occasional nookie, does appeal, although becoming a modern Albeard does not attract at all, what with castration and all.
    Thanks for making me look up “wiki”. I am none the wiser.
    From the ladies loo in UCD student’s union, “I may be gullible, but I still have my magic fish.”


  5. Reads like you’re in the wrong profession – and I don’t mean the nunnery deal. Your writing skills don’t square with consultancy – which one would like to win out?


  6. C, I got to be a consultant through writing. And now that I am one, I get to write less. I’d like to redress that, since I believe James Watson’s theory on happiness:

    “…My general theory is that happiness is a reward for an animal doing what it should be doing. So if a horse runs, it feels happy. Or if you are too thin you can’t be happy, because evolution wants you to be tense and anxious, trying to wake up in the morning looking for food.”

    …My small and specialist role in the animal kingdom is listening to other animals’ stories and writing them down. It makes me happy.


  7. Dervala hi,

    A strange and disturbing letter by another powerful Irishwoman who has a yearning for holy orders appeared in the Irish Press today, I’m referring of course to our beloved Sinead O’Connor. I am sending you her URL where you can read it for yourself.

    I can’t help thinking she’s off the beam on this one.

    I hope you are continuing to enjoy San Francisco, I was there for six months last year visiting my daughter Tristan and grandchildren. She has, for me, a troubling relationship with religion, the Miracle of Love cult. I’ll be back in town at the end of this month for a months visit with her and the girls, staying on Larkin at Filbert in the Russian Hill area. The Patisserie Boulonge on Polk has about the best coffee in town and was a big hit with my partner from Dublin, Mary Ann. Tristan lived in Dublin for several years, working as an actress, back in the late 80’s/90’s If you care to meet us for a cup we could swop stories. I lived in S.F. during the 60’s.

    Kind regards,


    PS I wrote you last year, the solar water heater inventor guy.

    PPS. Your pictures of Arequipa are enticing though I think you might have a little trouble with the chocolate body paint and wikis idea.


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