In just a moment, when my sporty lift arrives, I shall venture south for the Edinburgh Clergy Retreat to Whitchester. The silent (yes, I said ‘silent’) retreat will be led by the Rev’d Canon Anne Dyer who makes wonderful connections between art and theology. Visual is always good in my book.

I haven’t had a retreat for a couple of years so am kind of looking forward to this. Kind of? Well, yes, for readers of this blog may know that I don’t always cope well with silence. And if ever someone does a silent-ish retreat for extroverts then I’ll be first in line. In the past I have disgraced myself by giggling at the slightest thing and scampering off with fellow retreatants for afternoon tea and a blether.

I have my Kindle charged and my notebook at the ready. No netbook, just my phone. Please pray for me.


6 thoughts on “Retreating

  1. would a silent retreat for extroverts be one in which there was so much noise that you couldn’t form words of your own?

    (thus exploring the distinction between Ruth Burrow’s ‘light on’ and ‘light off’ modes of mysticism; or apotphatic and cataphatic tendencies in experiencing God…)

  2. Many years ago I went on a silent retreat to Walkerburn. At intervals were were summoned and harangued by the retreat leader. I never take well to haranguing. I find it hard to cope with losing a ‘right of reply’. I coped in three ways.

    I read books with an intellectual take on spirituality, rather than a heart-based one. This at once cheered me up.

    I focused, not on the depressing talks, of which I can now remember little except that the speaker was against almost everything except misery, but instead of the pretty little Madonna, who looked cheerful and welcoming.

    Then I gave up the retreat proper, and walked the hills in joyful aloneness, and realised that only somebody who loved me as I was in those places could ever really love me. Sadly, when he arrived, he pretty soon stopped loving me anywhere, but that is another story. It was a valid insight.

    Put me right off organised retreats – book me in for the afternoon tea instead.

  3. I went on an excellent retreat for mostly extroverts in Spain a couple of years ago.

    There was certainly much hilarity and noise but also times which were agreed to be quiet times in the house. Mornings were quiet and holy, mealtimes were riotous. Afternoons were spent in the sun with either books or pals.

    I’ve also enjoyed a couple of week long completely silent retreats but that was quite a while ago.

  4. Well as it turned out, it was an excellent retreat. In fact, it was too short. Give me some art to look at and I’m happy. And to be told over and over that you are loved is never a bad thing.

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