My retreat at the Abbey of Gethsamini

It is early saturday morning I have itemized and culled my list of essentials to bring on my retreat.  Not too many clothes, just warm ones,  it is supposed to be cold next week in Trappist KY.   The highs in low 40’s  at night in low 20’s.  My gear includes a compass, (in case I get lost in their 1200+ acres of woodland), camera, journal, sketch pads, pastels, emergency kit, flashlight and walking stick made from a lodge pole pine from the mountains around Jackson Hole Wyoming.   Several books, at least one from Thomas Merton about Contemplation.

I bring all this to a place I have never been before physically but in the past was  emotionally and thoughtfully.  As a young boy, 8 yrs old until 18, I went into the woods alone many times and came out refreshed.   The aloneness, solitude made me reflective then and centered my thoughts.  I now seek to go again hopefully to be renewed in life and to find my center and obtain balance again to my life.

Being diagnosed has unsettled me beyond any comprehension,  it has so knocked me off course in life that I no longer recognize myself as myself.  I have become unbearable to my family at times to the point of their and my despair.  I have recognized this for a long time now and seek to rectify this imbalance and go inward and beyond myself for repair through a retreat in my life.

Wish me luck!