Last year I was captivated by a short series on television called Retreat: Meditations from a Monastery. It consisted of three hour long programmes about the day to day life of three Benedictine monasteries in the UK. The commentary was minimal, the effect mesmeric. I then read a fascinating book about Julian of Norwich, a 14th century anchoress, written by the wonderful Janina Ramirez. I know, who would have thought it? I can read! Since then I have had a compulsion to get away for a couple of days, on my own, for a peaceful and perhaps reflective time. I didn’t want it to be structured or themed. I certainly didn’t want to be bricked up in a cell for the rest of my life. I wanted to make the rules and break them if I felt the need. Chocolate was to be involved. The thought of a little self-enforced solitude (and hopefully be able to get stuck into some serious writing) sounded idyllic. To suit myself; eat when I was hungry, sleep when I was tired, have a little company when needed.
And that is just what I have done this weekend. I didn’t wear a watch all weekend, when I went for a walk I didn’t take a camera, there was no social media. And it was wonderful.
Thanks Mr and Mrs Bun, it was just perfect.
7 thoughts on “Retreat”
‘All shall be well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.’
Timeless and comforting.
Just wonderful and, as you say, as relevant today as it ever was.
I was going to quote exactly the above from Julian of Norwich. Her words are balm. I used that quote to begin a novel I wrote some time ago.
I support you implicitly in your idea of retreat – it’s beneficial to the soul. And especially if chocolate is involved and you don’t have to follow any rigid horarium.
What was the name of the novel? I will find it out! A personnal retreat is such a simple idea, but for some reason seems so unobtainable to many (including me up until recently).
My three days at Saint Andrews’ Abbey in Valyermo back in 1987 are something that I will never forget. I work at a Conference Center now, where others come for that sort of thing, but it is nothing like Saint Andrew’s Abbey out on the edge of the Mojave Desert.
Tony that sounds incredible, a wonderful experience I’m sure.
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That sounds good to me. xx