Thursday, June 8, 2017

Mepkin Bound!

This blog will be quiet for a few days while I go up to Mepkin Abbey (don't come burgle my house--my spouse will be holding down the South Florida fort).  In fact, by this time tomorrow, I will already be on the road if everything goes according to plan.  I will be attending a retreat on The Power of Story.

Readers of this blog will remember that last year I was going to Mepkin Abbey to do a poetry workshop with Kathleen Norris, when she had to cancel.  I went anyway and had a great time.  But it wasn't the kind of structured workshop the way that I imagine this week-end will be.

I would be happy to go to Mepkin Abbey for time to study just about any subject, but this one will be relevant to me in many ways.  I'm telling everyone it's a writing workshop, but I'm not sure.

I haven't been to Mepkin Abbey in the summer; I've been in every other season.  Will we still take long, rambling walks when the temperature soars?

I will meet two friends there; we have a long history together.  I am anxious to catch up with these old friends, who began life as work colleagues long ago when we all worked at a local community college in the Charleston area.  In those days, I was not interested in monasticism and couldn't have even told you that there was a monastery nearby.

Will the gardens be beautiful?  I've found something to treasure in each season that I've visited.

I'll bring a pile of books, real books printed on paper, because that's the way I travel.  I'll bring my laptop with vague ideas of the creative work I want to do.  I'll bring the camera.  I'll bring extra batteries.  What will I actually do while there?

I know that I will take pictures.  I know that I will walk, even if I sweat through my clothes.  I know that I will attend many services in one day.  I know that I will write something, although I'm not sure what (the long drive usually leaves me with lots of ideas).  I know that I will read, although it might be a book that I pick up at the monastery.

My hope is that I recalibrate myself in ways that are important.

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