Monday, October 04, 2010

On, In and Around Mondays: Saturday Escape to Silence

Mug on Plate

I am sitting on the concrete porch outside my door in Texas. Today the Retreat goes on without me.

Earlier, the rush of shower water next door told me Brad and Dan were awake. I listened to the sounds. Open. Close. Thump.

Yes, I am supposed to be somewhere. Breakfast with its pottery mugs, blue-grey. A view of the Canyon. Sky and circling birds. I pull the sheets to my chin. I am missing scrambled eggs, English muffins, a chance to talk to Ann or Ann.

I feel the gentle push-back from my pillow. I am not ready to leave my dreams, which must have mingled laughter, the Milky Way, me-sized cactus, blue-green river and turtles swimming.

A blond woman with a smiling voice opens my door. “Housekeeping.”

“Sorry! I’m still in bed,” I say.

“Are you okay? Can I get you anything?”

“No. No thank you. I stayed up late. I’ll be out in an hour. Sorry!”

Shoonk. The door shuts. I pull the sheets over my shoulder. I should get up.

I catalog what I have already missed. The eggs. Tea. Ann and Ann. Soon it will also be the morning speaker and maybe Ashley Cleveland, who laughs and sings deep, and moves with her magenta (or aqua) guitar.

Ashley Cleveland

Out the window are splintery trees I don’t understand, and white rocks in the sun. If I move quickly I will make it in time for the songwriting workshop with Over the Rhine.

Over the Rhine

Shower. Hair brush. Tazo tea, made in the coffee maker. Bagel I brought from New York, cinnamon raisin, already buttered. I think these things will mean a movement towards the crowd. They don’t. Maybe because I open my window and feel the morning air.

Indian Print Skirt

It is decided. Brown and white Indian-print skirt, a sleeveless brown shirt, blue sparkle bracelet, the silver shalom necklace I just opened (a gift). Tea on this concrete porch.

Hill Country trees

I need the silence, which is riffled only by small sounds I cannot place. I cannot seem to hear, or maybe answer. Are the trees saying, Thtick, thtick, thtick? Or is it phah-phah-phah, phah-phah-phah? Or maybe tahk-a-shh, tahk-a-shh?

My hair moves in the slight breeze. Grasses, long, with tawny feather tops, move too. The silence, the mild sounds of not-silence, tickling trees and wooden swings and me. I need this unscripted song, which is just now being written by the day.

shalom necklace

Laity Lodge photos, by L.L. Barkat.


On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) is an invitation to write from where you are. Tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place.

Would you like to try? Write something 'in place' and add your link below. If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)

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Anonymous David@Red Letter Believers said...

I can still feel the silence, too. There is something about getting away -- no cell phone, no computer, no traffic -- and suddenly, there is God.

I had a breakthrough weekend on many counts. And for those that were not there, perhaps they can create their own retreat -- even for an hour in their own 'backyard'


2:04 PM  
Anonymous heather said...

I can't tell you how jealous I am. I was hoping to make it to this retreat, but scheduling wise, it just didn't work out. Hopefully next time!

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

It sounds lovely. I hope the silence and solitude more than made up for missing the retreat and A and A.

2:45 PM  
Blogger ELK said...

you made the right choice...

2:52 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I couldn't write while I was experiencing "Clouds", but the immediate memory of it was easy to write when I was able. It was very quiet out there when I was seeing and experiencing what I was. Just me and our dog, Dylan. Thanks, for being you and providing the opportunity to share! Kim

3:03 PM  
Blogger Megan Willome said...

Geez, Ashley was there, too? I was feeling OK about missing the retreat until I read THAT.

It's just that she and Kenny have meant so much to me and my parents.

So, it's probably better that I wasn't there, blubbering.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

Wonderful. A retreat sounds like Heaven. :) But I must remember that for the last several weeks, my kids have slept through the night. I'm in bonus territory as it is.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Sounds like an honest case of playing hookie! But oh, what a gift to steal a few moments to yourself, leisurely sip that tea, and enjoy the quiet.

I miss it already. It was so good to see you. Really. Hope you know. You bless me bunches.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Laura, I can just imagine you there. I think you made an inspired choice. It seems so much easier to find Him in the silence - in the beauty of His creative work.
It was such a blessing to see you even for a such a short time. Perhaps there will be another opportunity some other time?

8:44 PM  
Blogger Deidra said...

You took me right back there. I had a moment in the canyon where the silence reached my heart and it was beautiful. It made me think of still, small voices floating on the wind.

What a gift to spend time - and laughing out loud moments - with you in that place.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Ann Kroeker said...

I missed you that morning...I felt your absence. I did.

But I love knowing that you were filled up with all that quiet goodness.

We were nuts to stay up that late, and we just kept doing it. For a place that's supposed to be about renewal, you were the only wise one to really rest.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous HisFireFly said...

Retreat. Res. Spaces to breathe. May you find more than you expected.

I've linked to a piece about rest stops along our way.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous HisFireFly said...

sorry... added a link back to your post instead of my own. Re-linked. Must truly be tired of the road.

10:54 PM  
Blogger deb said...


I am sure you know how to balance rest with community , you share it so well here always.

and I've added my link of mondayish in and around.

7:54 AM  
Anonymous kingfisher said...

Spending silence with God is wonderful. To build memories to share with others (or at least with God and self)is beautiful. To think of lovely things is refreshingly full. To counter our disappointments by considering our blessings is bountiful.

I left my link for "On Mondays".

And I received in the mail yesterday God in the Yard, via Cheryl. Thanks.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous ed cyzewski said...

The images in this post really drove home the power of finding a restful place for recharging. They drive home the importance of finding a space for sacred moments, of creating space to create and to be recreated. Thank you for the gentle reminder and the invitation.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Jim Martin said...

Love these pictures from Laity Lodge. What a wonderful place and you describe it well. Hope this was a great retreat for you.

4:29 PM  
Blogger S. Etole said...

I have submitted a link to this ... thanks for sharing your view with us.

12:38 PM  

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