I really and truly did spend a weekend in silent retreat.
I KNOW! I'M CRAZY!
Kate and I, (your OTHER favorite blogger, at http://godstolemyboyfriend.blogspot.com/ of course) are a very unique set of friends. We met folk dancing amidst a lovely bunch of atheists, jews, unitarians, and whatever elses, so if it hadn't rolled around into the age of facebook we may never have discovered that we had anything in common other than a few dance steps and songs. voila, facebook, and we promptly wrote one another several messages full of exclamation points and capitals letters. Those sections nobody ever reads on your profile, like "interests," and "books" and "religious views" were actually the cause of much excitement. Moltmann!?! Gutierrez?! Henri Nouwen!!!! AND FOLK DANCING!?
So we were blog-friends for a long time, and now we finally met up face-to-face again, and went to a monastery, of course.
Abbey of the Genesee was our chosen location, which is a silent place. You pray, read, stare out the window, write blogs (but don't post them!), and pray some more. And the monks pray the psalter, beautifully, in plainchant, 5 times a day and you try to get your butt over to the chapel to join them. This is hard because it's a hike, and because silence is soporific, and because the first of their daily prayers is at TWO TWENTY FIVE IN THE MORNING. Followed by 6, 11, 4, 6:40, and you'd best be falling right into bed at 7 PM if you hope to get up again the next morning. I confess we only got to one of the earliest prayers.
The retreat house is silent and the abbey is silent, but one can talk on the road, which naturally we did. And that's all I have to say in introduction, so read the following 3 entries, and wait for Kate to post something (right Kate?), and if you're actually interested in Trappist Monkness check out their website. I highly commend the retreat house.