I wish I could say that the reason I haven't blogged anything in months is because I've been soooo busy with this book. It's just not true. I guess you could say that I've been bogging instead of blogging, and the novel and the blog decided to return around the same time.
Life is good, but I'm here to play catch up. First, to those of you who have asked about the blog and told me you miss it: Thank You!
It's taken a long, backward glance to realize the things that have impacted my writing for such a long while. In July, the week we moved into our new house, my son, Daniel, went to jail. The following week I started back to work. Mine is a ten-month full time job, August through May. Around that time, I got in touch with a lot of grief (you might take a look at this: http://www.debcarrigerrichards.com/1/post/2013/08/good-grief.html and then it just seemed that life was too full. Full, full, full, and then there were the holidays.
However, back in the summer I had done a spectacular thing for myself. I had scheduled an eight-day silent retreat in Colorado in February. This February! At the time I booked it, I had no idea how much I would need it. I must have chosen early February because of the fact that every weekend in January is typically filled with work stuff, and it looked like my first possible breather.
So, on February 3rd I got on a plane and headed to Denver. From the Denver airport, I was shuttled to Castle Rock, where a priest met me and drove me to Sacred Heart Jesuit Retreat House on the outskirts of Sedalia.
When I arrived, I had a note from my spiritual director for the week, Sister Eileen. She said she couldn't meet with me the first day because of some other responsibilities. I busied myself with reading, and exploring the outdoors a tiny bit in the snow and 3-degree temps. In fact, it snowed the entire first day.
And what did I find to read? Jack Kornfield's A Path With Heart. Since I couldn't keep the book, I copied most of it in my journal.
By the next morning, when it was time to meet with Eileen, I noticed that I was feeling sad and tired. So sad and tired. . . So sad and tired, in fact, that I slept and wept for the next two days.
Eileen took one look at me in our first session and said, "No Work." "No Work. Entrust your work to God. Invite Him into your pain. Rest. Don't dodge it. Don't spend time in your head. See you tomorrow at 12:45."
And she gave me this, by Nan Merrill:
Awaken me from my fears
O my Beloved
give me strength to face them as they rise up within me;
Let your love envelop me,
and direct my thoughts to peaceful paths.
You are the Compassionate One,
Comforter to all who ask.
You come to those who seek you;
O mender of broken hearts,
create a new heart within me.
I long to sleep at night in peace,
to awaken to a new dawn.
Too long have my fears, my guilt, pursued me,
whispering lies and evoking beguiling images
of illusionary darkness.
In You, O my Beloved,
I find rest; I am strong.
At night I will rest in the Heart of the Beloved,
my days will be guided by Love.
My thoughts will become prayers
offered from the Silence deep within.