I always take several deep breaths before I begin a blog entry and they usually end with a large sigh. I'm confused, ailing, bewildered, angry, happy, but always having some large emotion. Tonight I'm reflecting on the parish retreat of this past weekend.
Large church, partner attends, I don't. She talks about many people, and I have faces for most of them now. But, they seem a generation before me or a world away. Most have grandchildren. Most have been married many years or are widows. Many really are an older generation. But, even the younger ones have families. Many of them still work every day. Most are doing okay financially even in this crisis.
They were pleasant people. The music was good and reminded me of my long-ago Cursillo experience. In fact, some of the music transported me back to that time, and I could lay to rest the discomfort that has continued for so many years. I'm not attending to please the bishop (he wasn't there), I'm not seeking ordination, I didn't have anything to lose at this retreat - only to gain.
The program likened our journeying to an Appalachian hike - the trailhead, the base camp, the decisions about directions, the barriers, the hope, the going forth. I've never hiked, but the symbolism made sense. And, he said several key phrases and words that brought my current spiritual/worshipping self to mind and challenged me to find answers.
We stayed at our condo about a mile from the retreat center, and I slept through the Saturday morning part...a much-needed rest after working three full days last week- three very busy days. The retreat was good for me, but superficial. I was not moved in any deep way.
However, as I discussed it with my therapist this morning, several good things that happened arose in our conversation. My putting away the pain from Cursillo, my not feeling threatened by any hierarchy, my dreams not depending on someone's opinion of how I acted at the retreat. I was present and smiling for my partner.