A Wee Bio
Carolyn with my husband Eric Metzler in Wales
With my late father, Myles Walburn
As my alter-ego, "Shadow-bell"
This biographical section is the hardest part to compose. Most of my life is so unremarkable, and I seek to engage people as we are real, not impress anyone with credentials. So however you read this, know it is less than this, and more than this, and other-than-this.
In the hidden parts of my life I am wife, mother, grandmother, baker of bread, weaver of cloth and words, who as often as possible does a contemplative sit in a hot tub under dark New Mexico skies. For six years I was a Sister of St. Margaret, a crucial time of development for me.
I am a mostly unpublished author, poet, and explorer of all kinds of wilderness. Ordained an Episcopal priest in Maine in 2004, I am comfortable in pulpit, behind the altar, and can speak the language of traditional Christianity fluently. But these days I am more found in canyon cathedrals of red and gold stone walls carved over millennia by flowing river, howling winds, and time-made-visible praying the liturgies of silence. Each fall I disappear into Gallina Canyon for three weeks of focused silence, prayer and solitude. Go to GallinaCanyonRanch.com, and look for “Remote casita.” You will understand. My upcoming book was born here in this Canyon.
I spent decades sitting with people in spiritual direction, receiving their stories with reverence and blessing, holding their secrets in the tabernacle of my own heart. I served as a psychiatric chaplain, hospital chaplain, and hospice chaplain for the better part of thirty years, accompanying hundreds of people through times of deep darkness, illness, and at the end of their lives. They have all been my teachers.
For six years it has been my privilege to serve the Living School for Action and Contemplation as spiritual director at the invitation of Fr. Richard Rohr. There I have learned from core teachers and students alike, listening deeply with people from all over the world. It was my joy to do some teaching there in areas that I have developed into workshops and retreats, and to guide the school in non-traditional worship. Now I am approaching retirement from that work in June of this year.
I am a solitary woman who inter-weaves her human and other-than-human relationships with silence. I am learning to be undefined. In retirement I expect to write, weave, and listen deeply to the wilderness in which I live, offering my love and prayer to the world in which I was so privileged to have been born.