chapter  3
Looking down on the world from a wooden balcony: A narrative autoethnographic study of voluntary celibacy
Pages 14

I remember walking back from school every day in glorious sunshine and catching a glimpse of the wooden balcony as soon as I turned the corner. It was my grandmother’s coop. She would always be there, looking down beneath her as the world went by every day of her life. Looking through the Persian blinds, she would see the neighbours gossiping, the children playing, the street vendors selling their wares from their donkey carts, devotees coming to pray to the niche of Our Lady that was on the side of her house. She was in the world and out of it at the same time, feeling part of it but not actually taking part in it. It was like a theatrical performance where the audience interacts with the actors but does not leave the auditorium to go up on the stage. It was as if she was taking leave of the world, sitting on the same chair in the same place fingering through her rosary beads and saying her prayers. As soon as I arrived, I would make tea for both of us, do my homework and then read to her.