Introducing The Monk and the City that Loves Him: A Novella Project

I’ve got another idea for a longer story I want to share here on WordPress – The Monk and the City that Loves Him: A Modern Spiritual. Like what I did with Mother Portia, I plan to share this as a “work-in-progress” and post segments of the story over the course of the next few months.

I’m not sure where the story idea came from, but it’s taken a hold of me, so I know I need to write it out. I read a lot of Catholic and spiritual writings, and I’m definitely drawn to monasteries, monks, and the Christian ascetic lifestyle (though I don’t practice it in the least bit). One of my favorite writers of late has been Thomas Merton, the mystic and Catholic monk of the mid-20th century.

The idea was this: What if a Catholic monk left the monastery and dedicated his entire life to helping the homeless, addicted, and destitute in a modern city? I’m sure this happens today, but what would it be like? For his whole life purpose to be centered around this? I think he’d be somewhat of a saint.

The other thing that’s spurring me to write this is how awful I feel about the poverty and addiction of some people in my city and nation sometimes. I get upset about it, and I often go political with it. What kind of country is this where we have people worth billions and so many others living in squalor?

I got sober myself in 2011 and had sunk pretty low, though I was never destitute. I spent years in recovery rooms and heard many tragic stories. I also know of so many in recovery who overdosed over the years or took their own lives. I guess it’s always been this way, but statistics say addiction is getting worse in America, and the suicide rate has skyrocketed.

I feel that, like with Mother Portia, writing this story will allow me to work through some of the anger and helplessness I feel about it. It’ll also help me dig into the demons and darkness of the situation and hopefully be able to pull out some light and goodness.

A Bit About the Story

The story will follow a man simply known as The Monk, a strange character, who dedicates his life to helping two desperate addicts, Louie and Tammy. Both are hooked on heroin, and Tammy sells her body for drugs and is frequently abused by the men she sells them, too. Indeed, this story won’t be for everyone, and there may be some parts that make people squeamish.

The story will follow these characters through the ups and downs on trying to get sober and get their lives together, as the forces of nature and capitalism work against them. The journey will not be easy, but I’m hoping as I write this, Louie and Tammy will find resources of incredible strength to pull themselves from the mire and emerge somewhat intact.

I’ve already written a bit of the story and I’ll share it the way I did with Mother Portia.

Hope you all enjoy it!

2 thoughts on “Introducing The Monk and the City that Loves Him: A Novella Project

  1. Terveen Gill October 5, 2021 / 10:49 am

    Good luck with this, Nick. It sounds interesting and turbulent. 🙂

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