I am back from my silent retreat. More of that below. My younger daughter is 33 years old today. Amazing. We had a psychic friend who channeled a delightful entity named Emmanuel. Our friend gave us a reading the first week we brought Marion home from the hospital after her traumatic life and death birth and Emmanuel told us, “An altar for your faith is born.” Marion was certainly a family life-changer for Richard and me and her older sister. As her biological challenges (mild brain damage, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, epilepsy) were slowly revealed to us throughout her childhood, we found our own vulnerabilities and strengths to support and learn and love her through her struggles. Love’s altar has been a beautiful one, and today Marion lives independently with aid from a variety of agencies. She paints extraordinarily colorful and fantastical images, and finds her life full and under her control. We communicate daily through video cyberspace, and that makes it tolerable for me that she is still in N.Y. state while her sister and I are now in Ohio. Happy Birthday, my dear, wise daughter.
My week of silence was wonderful. It is not easy to put into words such an internal non-verbal experience. There was one day of signs and synchronicity which is easier to share which perhaps will show up in my next post.What I can say about the rest of my time is to acknowledge the spiritual muscularity it requires to face yourself honestly, minute after minute, hour by hour, and day after day. It evokes exactly what you can imagine of listening to and observing all the subtleties of your personality. The thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and sensations fly by and you can pack heaven and hell into the space of an hour, let alone during the long, dark mysteries of the night. Navigating this in a context of healing, of the longing to be whole, brings you to face to face with the need to surrender a lot of what you thought necessary to defend yourself from the world “out there.” Instead, you find the startling lack of difference between “in here” and “out there.”
Many hours of intermittent deep peace and joy balanced the work with suffusions of stillness in mind and heart. This Jesuit retreat facility itself was lovely in all ways. It was spacious and comfortable. With 57 acres surrounding the main building, it is an ideal location for a retreat center on the west side of Cleveland. Every window looked out into greenery of forest, field, lawn, or landscaped areas.There were pathways that led all over; to a grotto here, statues there, with many benches and even a fountain dedicated to forgiveness. Though I could not go far away with my rollator, my fellow retreatants would disappear outdoors flowing in every direction, with journals and backpacks to sustain them on their journeys.
By the fountain, there was a plaque with the following quote on it. It summarizes my own discoveries of finding out that I have recommitted to live in one world where the sacred and mundane are one and the same. Staying in love is my chosen work.
Fall in Love
Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991)
is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
From Finding God in All Things: A Marquette Prayer Book © 2009 Marquette University. Used with permission.
10 thoughts on “Falling in Love”
Happy Birthday to your daughter! 🙂
The retreat sounds so nice, I want to come visit!
thanks it was lovely, and my daughter had a great birthday apparently! 😉
LikeLiked by 1 person
So, so beautiful Judi, thank you.
Happy, happy birthday, dear Marion. xoxo Judith
I will tell her that from you!
So beautiful and the best possible advice! Finally, your blog showed up on my inbox. Before, it would get hidden in gmail’s strange ways of separating informations.
I just returned home after time with my son and my grandson. Jac came to CyCy’s 3rd birthday party. He is 83!!! Of course, I am 72, but somehow that blew my mind!! Time itself has changed its ways. I really believe that it is all happening simultaneously. I was listening to a great young man read The Nature of Personal Realityy on my way up there. Seth was definitely one of my greatest teachers and I revisit him now, and shake my head in awe of what I believe to be very very real. And comforting. I got back last night and am waiting to hear from the engineer when I can hear the mixes he has made. Then 2 more recordings. I must have another photographer shoot what I wanted; will be working on getting that together. ETA for the record will be end of August. Thanks again for your loving support. Love you! Annie
He is three- wow- and your album – end of August- sooo looking forward to that!
What a great poem. I’m so glad you shared it with us! Best wishes always, John
yes, the poem is so simply and succinctly put. I know you know about the oneness of the sacred and the mundane. Our animals offer us this wisdom every day.
LikeLiked by 1 person