As I reported in cards part 1, there were quite a few cards to draw. So as a warm up I drew one for myself, taped it to my wall, drew another card, sent it to Mosaic Woman, who would also have a card sent on Friday morning and another sent on Saturday.
By Saturday afternoon I was fading. I was closing in on thirty cards. It was feeling forced. Then I went to dinner.
There is something about 21 straight silent meals with the same group of people. For some the meals are an invasion into their solitude, for me it is a glorious reminder that I am far from traveling this path alone. Some folk tell me they wish they could one day go on an 8 days retreat. I wish they all can experience one. It is not always easy and one needs to get lifted up along the way, even when you are feeling connected to God. The days can be long. Way long. It is not a vacation from what you left behind, it is a journey into yourself where all that stuff has been lost and examined while you live your busy life.
That Saturday dinner did the trick. I sat in the dining room making eye contact with as many folk as I could and watching those who were being private with their eyes. I so wanted to thank them for coming to dinner with me. I imagined 21 straight meals in an empty dining hall; then headed back into my room and the callous on my thumb grew larger.
Sunday proved to be a greater challenge, much greater than drawing the cards. Especially the three for Margaret: