entering into the deep silence with a tiny bit of apprehension.

darlings

we have RETURNED from our new year’s Contemplatives Retreat!

it’s not for Everyone (and as we pulled up the driveway and saw the Others arriving in their ecologically-appropriate cars with snappy slogans on bumper stickers we Had to wonder if it was for Us, to be perfectly Honest)

“The call to the creative life is a call to dignity, to a life of vulnerability and adventure and the call to a life that exquisite excitement and indeed ecstasy will often visit.”
― John O’Donohue

but, you know, it was delicious.

we Entered the Deep silence (as one of our spirit-filled-teachers at the Retreat sonorously urged us to do post-banging of a small Gong) to say goodbye to the last day of 2013 and great the fresh new 2014-ness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthere was lots of Walking, eating nutritious meals, early to bed, early to rise and all that good stuff, lectures, a LOT of meditation (we’ve never been so contemplative for so long) and some bonhomie before chapel (we skipped out of that bit – it was Late and there’s only so much bonhomie that one knows how to do while wearing a name tag under one’s Pashmina).

“The call to the creative life is a call to dignity, to a life of vulnerability and adventure and the call to a life that exquisite excitement and indeed ecstasy will often visit.”
― John O’Donohue

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we paid a Supplement for a single room because we used to do “dorms” but our memories of schooldays sadly faded with the reality of No Trunks, Matron or lights out or the rustle of a mint-in-a-wrapper passed surreptitiously to the next bunk.

quiet and rustic – in the middle of a grove of ancient live oaks.

we wrote for a while and then tried to sleep.

“The world rests in the night.”
― John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

ah.

but what Nobody tells you about deep contemplation and Quiet and rest and Silence and HOURS of Meditation is that one becomes so still, so completely emptied Out of the quotidian worries and distractions that – well – *nervouslookoffcamera* – It is a Bit Scary, to be honest.

there’s a reason why all those distractions exist, you see.

“May all that is unlived in you blossom into a future graced with love.”
― John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

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“This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.”
― John O’DonohueTo Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

all we can say is This:

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we have returned from the Contemplatives Retreat at a (former) convent nestled in the live oaks of california – speak softly ;)