Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm baaack...I think

Well, I must say that I have enjoyed my hiatus from regular blogging. Life has been so full that when I have some time to chill out my first thought is NOT, "hey, I want to put my mind back into gear and write a blog post!"

Since my last post I did a 10-day retreat using the Ignatian Exercises, which required me to meet with our priest (my spiritual director) every day. I've known about the Ignatian Exercises for about 15 years (since I went through the training to become a spiritual director myself) but I haven't had the opportunity to make an Ignatian retreat since a spiritual director is required AND you should be completely disconnected from your regular life for the entire period. That means NOT with your family, NOT while you've got a job you must attend to, NOT when there are other requirements to distract you from giving all your focus to God.

I realized that since the Pirate was away in Mendo for a month this would probably be my best opportunity but I didn't expect that I would be able to fulfill the part of meeting with a spiritual director every day. However, Padre graciously made time for me and I am SO thankful! This was the most intense 10 days I can remember having, and it's essential to have a guide to help you lay hold of what God is working in you during the retreat. It truly is a transformational experience. At the end of the time I told Padre (only half jokingly) that I think my new calling is crying! I am perceiving everything on a much deeper level after the Exercises, and all that sharp sweetness leads to a lot of tears.

So after being separated for a month and a half - longer than we have ever been apart since we first met 47 years ago - the Pirate returned at the end of July. It took us both awhile to resettle into being together again. I don't know how married folks do it when one or both of them has to be gone for long periods of time. Military personnel, oil rig crews, mariners, families of astronauts on the ISS - it's a whole different rhythm to life when you and your spouse are separated for large blocks of time.

About a week after he got home we had a hurricane, but it was a soft, well-mannered hurricane. One day we had a nice drizzle all day long without any wind. The next morning the wind came without any rain, but it wasn't too strong. We kept our front door open all day (as folks usually do down here) just to feel the lovely wind coming through the screen. The following day it was still windy and cool, but the wind was even softer. A wonderful few days!

We're still working on getting the vacation rental house fully furnished. The Pirate has several large pieces of furniture to make. I've finished the quilt for one bed and will start on the next one later this week. Our friend the forjador (ironsmith) will be making various items to go into the house as well. We're planning to make it a showcase of locally made crafts, and also have crafts avaiable for visitors to buy, since there's nowhere in town where you can buy traditional crafts. Sorry I don't have any photos - I must take some time this week to go over there with the camera so I can show you our great project in my next post.


  1. I'm so glad to see you posting again, Anna. Your Ignatian (Exercises) Retreat sounds heavenly. I have always wanted to complete one...perhaps, when my state in life changes.

    God bless!

  2. Thanks Valerie. I really recommend it, and I know there are places in the Bay Area where you can do the retreat.

  3. Your retreat does sound intense in the best way. The fathers say that crying is usually very good for the soul - I know that often I cry from self-pity, but if you are crying in the context of a spiritual retreat, I should think it couldn't help but be an expression of the best stirrings of the heart.
    How nice to read about your gentle and refreshing hurricane! I'm glad you and the Pirate are back together. That was a long separation indeed.

  4. I have come to realize that tears are often a form of prayer - that prayer that is beyond words, one of the signs of the Holy Spirit praying in and through us.

  5. You might like this poem I posted once:

  6. I thought of you when I saw the hurricane on the weather channel. I'm so glad you weren't hit hard.
    Your retreat sounds wonderful! Ah, tears. Tears and I are not on speaking terms, :) I get blind sided every once in a while, but that's it. Maybe it's the German in me, or the Native American. All stoic-like.I have to rely on music to emote.

  7. I have not seen any writings of yours here for awhile. Are you in Mexico or the USA? I need to touch bases with you.


I'd love to know your thoughts!