Beryl Singleton Bissell


From the author

We Are Like Lutes Yearning

December 11, 2009

I write to you from the heart of Advent -- the lovely liturgical season leading to Christmas. As I light the Advent candles in the evening and pray the Advent Liturgy of the Hours, I find myself missing the monastic Advent I celebrated for 15 years as a young nun.

What was it that separates my Advent of today from those of the past? One custom leaps instantly to mind: The cessation of visits with and letters from family and friends.

The other was being part of a community of like-minded nuns who swept me along with the intensity of their longing for the miracle of God among us – a waiting that made “already present what we were waiting for.” (Henri M. Nouwen)

Writer Thomas Moore speaks of every home as a monastery. My husband Bill calls our Lake Superior home “Beryl’s Monastery. “ It is a place of great beauty, of silence and solitude and when Bill is home, I have my Advent community. I know that my “missing,” is really just a yearning for consolation. Community is not physical but mystical. Yet the longing persists. Today I found the perfect expression of this desire in The Gift: Poems by Hafiz .

“We are
like lutes
Once held by God.
Being away from His warm body
Fully explains

Whatever your faith, we yearn in common for that God. May the music of hope fill your celebrations and may peace in abundance spread from you to others and from them to the world.

I am working nonstop on the book you keep asking about: the sequel to The Scent of God. Keep me in your prayers. Delving deep into the choices and events leading to my daughter Francesca’s unresolved violent death is a painful and complex journey. The more I write, the more convinced I become that this is a story that must be written and made available to others dealing with similar issues.

I have another book coming out meanwhile: A View of Lake, the story of our surprising move to the North Shore of Lake Superior and all that we learned about the land and ourselves by doing so. It is slated to be released in 2010 if all goes as is expected. Right now the publisher is toying with ideas about cover art. Any ideas?

My Work

The collision of human love and faith
An impetuous move to Lake Superior transforms a life
While writing The Scent of God
"Seven Years in Hell"

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