It's 7:59 pm. The retreat starts in 11 minutes. The silence has not begun yet. I thought I'd try something different this time. I will be posting, more than once a day, throughout the weekend. I'm not sure why I think this is a good idea, but I'm doing it anyway.

When I arrived at 4pm, I was filled with anxiety. I'm not anxious about the retreat. I'm anxious about life. It's been a weird few days. I am having a lot of ups and downs, all due to a few things.

I drove down here with an incredible woman, one whom I mentor. (Yeah funny, me, the one who is crazy. I’m a mentor!) It's been nice to have some alone time with her, some intimate chats. We stopped in a small town and had a late lunch in a beautiful old dining car. It transformed me into another time period.

Upon arrival at the center, we picked out our rooms. This time my room is facing the garden. It's beautiful here. They are predicting rain, mostly at night and I'm almost looking forward to that.

My friend and I sat down in a beautiful atrium and read aloud from some of our most favorite spiritual books. It talked about prayer, meditation, seeking God's will for our lives, how to live a life without struggling thru what really is. I really absolutely needed to read that, and I will quote some of that reading for you as I journal here at RP this weekend. While in that atrium (the silence, by the way, has not started yet), we became aquainted with another retreatant. It was lovely to make a new friend.

After the reading I went to my room and had a good cry. Again, I'm not sure what it is that is going on with me, but I know know that I'm feeling very vulnerable. I'm full of fear and I am looking forward to what this weekend will bring.

Later, we gathered in the dining area. We all found a spot to sit at the various tables, and once you find a seat, that is your seat in for the entire weekend. My friend and I are sitting together; our new friend and her buddy joined us as well. We spoke during dinner and had a great meal together getting to know one another better. There is a special bond between retreatants, a camaraderie in the process of knowing ourselves and God better. A common interest, if you will, in preciousness and power of silence. The center serves home cooked meals, nourishing and filling. Tonight's dinner was Tilapia, green beans and wild rice. Very yummy. A crispy cold leafy salad with tangy balsamic dressing. A warm, melt-in-your-mouth peach cobbler. What better way than to send one fully nourished and content head first into spiritual matters.

I feel better. The meal. The cry. The reading. And now hopeful anticipation as the first talk is about to begin.

BTW, a sincere thank you to those who left messages for me in the last post. I took every single one of them to heart.

I'm not exactly certain what is going on with me. It's not PMS! That's for sure! ;) It's an emotional couple days, and there have been a few of these the past couple weeks. The last two days have been the worst I've had in a long long time. I still have some pain in my heart. Again, it's not over Matt. That much I am grateful for. I suspect, altho I'm not 100% certain, that the actual "hurt" I experienced for 18 months in a row is finally coming out. (I'm referring to May 2010 thru September 2011.The last 6 have been amazing.) I am mourning, not just my loss (I've done so much of that already) but the fact that I was hurt. I was hurt badly. I can't explain the difference. I am not yearning for Matt. I do not want him in my life anymore. I think I'm just sad for me now.

I have to go. The silence has officially started.

Later Gator!

9:30 pm

OK I'm back. I failed to mention that the weekend's focus here at the Jesuit Retreat Center is The Lord's Prayer. That is one of my most favorite prayers for many reasons, one being it is the first prayer I had ever said with Matt. Also, as I began to study the prayer about 11 years ago, I learned how it's really a little road map for the soul. All the segments of the prayer have intense meaning and lessons in them. I will share that throughout the weekend as well. Don't worry, if you are not Christian (if you don't already know, I had not been a Christian for almost 20 years now — until recently) there is much about this prayer that transcends Christianity. Be open and you'll find an abundance of wisdom in that Great Prayer.