Fraught meetings alternate with cheery social events (often featuring the same players). Writing deadlines peer 'round the corner, waiting to pounce when I'm not looking. I long for a hermitage to flee to.
When Sunday's homilist talked of Advent as a long retreat, I was transported six Advents back, to an end of the semester that was arguably crazier than this one (surgery, overseas trip, major project for the college, writing), and the last days before I left to make a long retreat, the Long Retreat — the Spiritual Exercises.
I've been itchy to get away, to spend a night on retreat, but for various reasons cannot. So instead, I'm making a long retreat, carving out spaces for silence and prayer in my days and in my week. Slowly, painfully, by hand (much like sculptor Ra Paulette has carved these caves into the desert).
Photo is of my sunrise at Eastern Point, on the Long Retreat.