Allan Spiegler is a retired social worker who is married, has two adult children, and lives with his wife in Southern Arizona.
Tremors in the Cloister: A Memoir
Tremors in the Cloister is a heartwarming, true story of a friendship between Allan, a young monk, and Father Julian, a Catholic priest struggling to maintain his quality of life despite the ravages of Parkinson’s disease. Julian—also a college professor and monk—is a devoted naturalist involved in many outdoor projects. By happenstance, Allan becomes Julian’s chauffer and assistant. The two men soon bond over their love of nature through making elderberry wine, tracking the illusive sheepshead mushroom, and secretly growing marijuana used to alleviate symptoms of Julian’s illness. Julian quickly becomes a mentor for Allan and teaches him not only about the natural world, but also how to become a more spiritual person and appreciate what matters in life. As Julian’s health declines, he is forced to make important decisions regarding surgical operations while Allan has his own crisis regarding making a lifelong commitment to the monastic vocation.
Tremors offers a real-life account into the nature of Parkinson’s disease, the difficulties it creates, and ways of coping with the illness. It also elaborates on some of the significant changes that have occurred in the Roman Catholic Church over the past fifty years. Spiegler’s perspective gives the reader a closeup view of monastic life, a view generally shielded from the public. Enlightening and poignant, this memoir of a young man’s spiritual journey and meaningful friendship combines moments of humor and sadness, giving readers an unforgettable experience.