Monks are symbols of such a deep human longing that, paradoxically, others often have trouble seeing them as human beings. This is a complaint monks will make to anyone who will listen.
“If another person says, ‘It’s so peacful here,’ I’ll scream!” one monk said to me.
I suspect that monastic life is like marriage in that only those on the inside really know what’s going on.
-Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, p. 193