Thursday, November 30, 2006

White Walls

A fresh canvas... a clean slate... white walls... an empty schedule. How many times have I thought of those things from both ends of the spectrum? When my life is cluttered they loom large as desirable, enviable. But I have had white walls and it was a b*tch trying to decide what color I wanted to live with. I've had clean slates too, but as Kabat-Zinn says: "wherever you go there you are." Edith Ann would add "and that's the truth!"

Yet in spite of that knowing, I'm already excited about my upcoming long retreat. In the past we had these week-long silent times together as a community, always in the summer at the Melrose convent. In recent years it became obvious that we weren't really all together; there were always one or two missing, away at a workshop only offered in August, plus two more who acted as cooks and bottle-washers for the group, who took their retreats at other times.

So this past year we decided to try doing them individually. Mine is scheduled for next week, starting Wednesday. I'm leaving for my favorite monastery upstate. I was able to rearrange schedules and responsibilities and will be off the planet (as my ex-husband used to say). Wahoo!

I'll have no internet access, no email, no newspapers (not that I ever read them anyway) no TV, no talking, zip, nada, nothing. An empty schedule... Of course there will be the daily offices and a daily Eucharist to anchor me, but everything else is up to me. Sleep, read, walk, write (in longhand), and listen...

When nothing else is vying for my attention I'm a pretty good listener. Hope God feels like talking.

4 comments:

Richard Lamb said...

God go with you

HeyJules said...

Oh I am so jealous! Have a wonderful time and may God meet you where ever you are!

Lisa said...

Sounds wonderful and looks good, too! May the time be blessed and grace-filled!!

By the way, I want to mention to you that the Daughters of Saint Paul will be performing a Christmas Concert this Saturday at St. Malachy's on 49th Street. Thought it might be something you and the Sisters would enjoy!

Zanne said...

Hope it's a wondrous time! Hugs!