|THE CISTERCIAN WILDERNESS, 2011
The Cistercians were group of medieval monks who left the cosy confines of Cluny Abbey for the uncultivated marshes of Citeaux to more closely abide the Rule of St.Benedict. That rule is most succinctly summarized in their motto: ORA ET LABORA (Pray & Work.) This utopian ideal of wilderness, as a return to simplicity and earnest endeavor, strikes me as an interesting anachronism.
It increasingly seems to be the case that the wilderness is more valuable than cultivated land, which we have in abundance. Perhaps we to need to return to the Rule of St. Benedict but to enter this noble work in reverse. To return to our cities and suburbs and begin the hard work of re-wilding our rooftops and our vacant lots. To re-wild our minds. To de-domesticate. To simplify.