Unlike many of today’s fast food-loving, woe-is-me, pop culture junky Americans, the life of the monk is embedded in economy. There is prayer. There is work. There are few bells and whistles. If the Coked-up cheeseburger-and-fries eater is a speed metal band, then the monks are certainly the BB Kings and the Stan Getzes of the music world.
Stan and BB don’t waste a note to say what they’ve got to say. And that is the life of a monk. A monk is a simple, yet richly nuanced beer and the rest of us are quadruple IPAs covering up flaws with increased bitterness and aromas.
Well-made dubbels and IPAs are both life-feasts, but to think the monk is “simple” is naive. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine fame comes to mind as an aggressive beer, but like the monk, he has taken years to blister a guitar just so. And a quick listen to Morello on Audioslave’s “Getaway Car” reveals the under-the-surface monk in our midst.
Monks are good. Regular folks are good.
We should all be called to push the stylistic limits in our life and to brew difficult beers well, but our roots ought not be forgotten. Finding the balance to be good is one of the true challenges of life. At least that’s what comes to mind on Day 13, when I weigh 147 pounds and am pushing hard to get through a long day of work and remain introspective as a monk might do.
Watch your fermentation temp!