Author: Miina Piir
Original language: Estonian
First printed: 2012
Miina Piir is Estonian psychotherapist, NLP practitioner, minister, padre and pastoral caregiver. She has written plays and articles and in 1996-2000 solo-published Beautiful Health journal.
Ora et labora – this Benedictian rule made Miina choose Lintula Convent in Finland as her vacation destination for 2 weeks. An Estonian theologist Riho Saard has said that if a Lutheran woman chooses to go to orthodox convent, everything you need for a good comedy show is inherently already there.
““Convent Diary“ tells a story of a trouser-wearing woman tired of Lutheran theology and her experiences and discoveries amongst orthodox skirt-wearing women, where „nothing will remain undone just because you’re a woman““. Riho Saard
“When I came back from swimming, I saw Elena standing on the lawn across the toilets with a large rubber apron and gumboots on, mop and bucket in her hand, wimple skewed on her head and face saying that she’s going to die at that very moment.
As a person insulted and irritated to this extent surely needs to be calmed down, I decided to approach her. I smiled meekly and had no question about the topic to handle next.
“What is it that you do for living, Elena?”
“I am an artist … a painter … I also teach at the Academy, but not anymore, because the atmosphere there has turned weird.”
I listen and nod and ask if she can live on her art.
“Sure,” says Elena, “of course.”
“Is everything alright with your health right now? You said something about a disease.”
“Yes, I have this rare gut condition.” And explains thoroughly. “I have to take all sorts of medicine. I can’t eat flour nor sweets.”
“Perhaps it’s coeliac disease?”
“Oh no, not that. The diagnosis I have is very rare, I’m basically the only one who has it.”
All my anatomical and medical knowledge, that is not little at all, is now starting to give up. So, I listen with compassion only, and she is very interesting to listen to as she speaks and laughs simultaneously. The laughter seems almost as pre-recorded and later mixed with her speech. And you always need to talk about her and her errands, and should the topic wonder elsewhere, she brings it right back to her again.
I´m not going to bring it out, of course, that the content of our shared fridge is her food only, consisting mainly about everything she cannot eat, and that my digestion would probably just surrender if I ate a diet like hers.”