Oh my God. I still have another 3 and a half hours until supper. Then two more hours until we leave. So maybe less than 5 hours of having to be by myself.
How will I stand retirement? How will I stand my vacation coming up? At least half of that I will be alone. How will I stand being a widow, if that is to be?
I’m not really by myself, but I am. We can’t talk. There are others here, but the convent is big enough with enough areas that we can wander around and have space to ourselves. There are porches, and swings, and trees, and libraries, and snack areas that we can go to. Or we can stay in our rooms. But we can’t talk. So it feels like I’m alone.
Perhaps I don’t like being alone and silent because I’ve just not done it before. The day here is broken up with meals. We see each other then, but we still don’t talk. I write. Boy, have I written. I’ve wandered around outside. I took some pictures. I read two “elf-help” books. I did scrapbooking for the first time.
And I listened.
And God listened with me.
I’m waking up to the voice. I’m hearing the echo. Rumi says “Who is speaking with my mouth?” and it makes sense.
I’m afraid to say that the voice is me, and I am the voice. It sounds vain, petty, selfish. It sounds crazy. Yet if “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine”, it makes sense.
If we are a way for the universe to know itself, then this praying to God is self-reflective. God is within all of us. God created us, and gave us life. When we slow down the noise of our lives we hear God’s voice. It is inside us, as close as our breath, as essential as our heartbeats.
We aren’t God. But we are part of God. And God dwells within us, every one of us. God is within all things. It all came from God.
There is no division between living and not, animate and not. Everything has value. Everything has a purpose. It does not matter if it benefits humans in general or you in particular. God made it for a reason.
(Written 9-14-13, at 2 pm. Three quarters of the way through a silent retreat.)