No Complaining Policy

The recollection is faulty.  Having gone to the extreme of invoking a No Complaining Policy, it seems logical that even in those most playful early days the unMonasterians deemed it a necessary reaction to a creeping toxic atmosphere.  Was it an admonition to embrace stoicism, or self-censorship to quell one or another of the assembly from polluting the fun?

Our greatest impatience we reserved for our ‘parents’ – our sponsoring bodies here on earth whose efforts through the months hadn’t quite got us the roof over our heads that ‘everybody else had’.  When the invoice showed up that showed that the mattresses upon which we were to lay our weary heads likely came late because they weren’t ordered until the day before our scheduled arrival, we may have been a tad ungrateful.  National stereotypes were no doubt muttered.  Arms were reported waved.

In the face of unilateral paternalism, we temper tantrumed.  When the kids wouldn’t tidy up for guests, or if we asked too many pointed questions, we were sent to our rooms and ignored.  When these rooms proved mouldy and unheated, we hammered on the wall in a cloud of name calling.   Refusing to eat our dinner, not getting out of bed and inappropriate language were all indulged in.

Behaving like naughty children, we became treated as naughty children.   In a fit of adolescent hubris we declared independence, and psychically moved beyond the range of parental influence at first opportunity.  When it proved the case that we sorely missed human contact, we felt heartlessly deserted by our mothers.  A case may be made that some of us perhaps exhibited an unVersion of attention deficit disorder…

houseThe Sign of the Sign
When one doesn’t understand oneself, it is easy to feel misunderstood.  One little eureka moment of internal revelation can cause considerable international mayhem.

We were battling with our key existential questions: what were the unMonasterians, who was the unMonastery?  Finally willing to throw open our gates to the multitudes, we were still fumbling to explain ourselves in two languages… On the morning of the big day, there came a pounding at our collective door – “The good workers had arrived to put up our signs.  Where did we want them?”

The problem was that none of us had ordered any signs.  Without any of our endless rounds of indecisive discussion, something had happened; we were to be immutably corporate-branded out of the blue.  Without asking, someone somewhere had made the bold assumption that: we were who we said we were where we said we were.  Our magnificent palace of a house was to be boldly labelled “unMonastery” with the leaf-green logo that we had happily been using for the last 11 months.   Semi-understandably, we the unGrateful, were having none of it…

Such paternalistic behaviour was an affront to adolescents deep in their first major identity crisis.  Of course we weren’t a vague generic product of the unMonastery Industry; we were our own blossoming creature of great beauty.  At that stage in our internal deliberations our image among our peers meant everything.  Our intentions were crystal clear – at least to us: while the ‘unMonastery’ of our parental lineage remained an utopian ideal, we wrestled with a firmer reality.  We were the genuine article; in our heart of hearts we had indeed progressed a step further along our pathway, we were the unMonastery Prototipo Matera.  Let that be a sign to everyone…


About bembodavies

Theatre worker who long ago abandoned theatres, I remain adept at fabricating projects out of thin air. All proposals welcome.
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