|Wernersville Tree ~ as I approached|
Having left the arts and crafts pub in Reading, it was a direct route to the Jesuit Center but a road not yet travelled. I would be filled with thoughts of riches and poverty and how crossing one boundary can lead to such radical changes as I simply drove out of Reading into West Reading. Do people drive this everyday? Do they get used to it?
The brain will get used to silence. Thirty hours in I woke up and felt it. I had made the transition.
I am not a fan of superlatives... Questions like who is your favorite band can baffle me. I used to be able to say I never read a lot on retreats. But I fell into the writings of (let me be safe here) one of the most influential authors in my life, Frederick Buechner.
I came across his book The Clown in The Belfry as I weeded my bookcase of spiritual writings recently. It is a collection of essays and sermons thrown together for the sake of making a book. Not my most favorite thing. But I hadn't read it.
It proved to be a path into the many ways he has influenced my faith. By the time I woke up 30 hours into the retreat, I realized that I only had three chapters left. It made sense ~ one for that morning and one each for the last two mornings of the retreat. I could not have planned it better.
As I look back at the book, I see that the last essay I read, before I woke up feeling the silence, had ended with this paragraph. And this may be the coolest thing ever ~
Let us instead tell a story which is the story about every one of us, It is a story about a pig, and a fox, and an ass under his holy and appalling burden. It is the story about a mouth pushed crooked, about a voice breaking. Let the rest be Christ's silence.
|Wernersville Tree ~ about to step inside|