I am fascinated with a newly published letter that Madonna (the artist and performer) wrote when she was twenty years old. The letter (courtesy of the website Letters of Note) is addressed to film director Stephen Lewicki as a sort of “résumé” for the lead role in his film A Certain Sacrifice. She mentions how she wanted to be a movie star or a nun, and how, after trying things out, she decided to pursue a music career.

Madonna

… and, after a bunch of interesting stuff about her life, the letter concludes …

Madonna

Initially I was a bit miffed that Madonna compared being a nun to a disease, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the comparison represents a fine bit of discernment. Madonna recognized that trying out life as a nun led her to “dis-ease”, that is, a lack of ease in her own life, a feeling of being “not at peace” or “out of sync”.

MadonnaThank God Madonna did recognize that “dis-ease” because she was then able to open herself up to another calling as a singer-songwriter, actor, and entrepreneur! She is hands down one of the greatest artists of our time. Granted, I would gladly take Madonna as one of my nuns, but I am nonetheless delighted that she followed her calling and gifted the world with her art.

How do you negotiate the sense of “ease” and “dis-ease” in your own life?

What insight started percolating as you read Madonna’s words and thought about her life calling?