There is a bug on my virtual keyboard, attracted no doubt by the light of my electronic gadget. I elected not to turn on the lights when I came out here, so I'm playing the flame to every moth in the neighborhood.
There are a few others here on retreat beside me, but they are mostly of the silent and still sort. Even so there is one gentleman who I encountered on my walk, headed for the gate at a near run, rosary beads flying while his prayers bobbed behind in his wake.
I went for a walk after dinner and before seeing my confessor. As I walked along the road down toward the small creek that bounds the property I enjoyed the touches of hot and cool air that swirled around me. Much like the mix of emotions that I drove through the gate with, they were hard to sort out, coming and going almost too quickly to identify. That said, I feel like I've waded into a deep still pool. The silence seems extraordinarily deep this visit, though I couldn't tell you why.
There are a mix of retreatants here, some keeping silence, others not. Several have on a large name tag marking them as SILENT. I don't have one, and wonder if I would even want one. The silence I seek is somehow an interior one, and the silence here and my own commitment to seek it seems sufficient at the moment to further my interior journey to the still point. I brought along Marty Laird OSA's book Into the Silent Land. I enjoy the swirls of elegant prose and frank language. Somehow it makes the text feel more real, more like advice from a good spiritual director, one who is clearly and comfortably grounded in his or her own prayer life.
"This is why most people don't stick with a contemplative discipline for very long; we have all heard all sorts of talk about contemplation bringing inner peace but when we turn within to seek this peace, we meet inner chaos instead of peace. But at this point it is precisely the meeting of chaos that is salutary, not snorting of lines of euphoric peace."