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Ian and the crew had their annual Guy Weekend extravaganza at my place last weekend.  As I certainly couldn’t stay at the apartment, I decided it was high time for me to take my grandmother’s advice and participate in a poustinia–a personal religious retreat.

You’re welcome to read more about poustinia at the Madonna House website, but suffice it to say, it generally involves holing up in a room with nothing but you, some basic furnishings, a book on poustinia, and a bible. You eat bread and water/tea for the day and spend the rest of your time in contemplation.

Alright, alright! I know that most people would not think of this type of arrangement as all that fun. However, as a person who wanted to grow up and become a hermit, (albeit, I also wanted to be a contortionist, a ballerina, and a paleontologist), I like the idea of being open to solitude and simplicity. And with the clangor of numerous obligations in our lives today, I think most people can appreciate that a day without noise would not be a bad thing. What? Sit at a window and enjoy the breeze, you say? How can I refuse?

I feel like I could spend a great deal of time justifying this type of practice, whether it be to people who are uncomfortable with Catholicism, Christianity, or with just doing nothing. I don’t think it’d really get me anywhere though.

I really just wanted to write this entry because I enjoyed the time alone in God’s presence immensely. I also have found that coming home from that day has shown the time well-spent. I feel much happier, more present and appreciative with others, well rested, on better grounds with my spiritual life, and far less burnt out than I did before I went.  Though I still find it hard to stop listening to all of these various demands in my life, I am finding the time to have some quiet somewhere in my day. Whether it’s time spent listening to what my body is telling me, what my God is telling me, or what I am trying to say, that quiet time is paying off.

We really have lost touch with the joy of keeping things simple (says the girl who is writing a blog entry).


  1. Augusto wrote:

    . “All his poetry turns aruond frustrated love. His tormented characters who can’t live the life they want are precisely the metaphor for his sorrow. He was a genius who turned his suffering into art.”After Lorca was assassinated by death squads in August 1936, at the start of Spain’s civil war, his brother Francisco and sister Isabel made every effort to expunge any trace of homosexuality from his life and work, Gibson claims. A family spokeswoman, Laura Garcia Lorca, says they never talked of her uncle’s homosexuality when her father was alive. “We didn’t want his murder to be considered a sexual crime but to stress it was a political crime. It was difficult for my father to accept the homosexuality of his brother. However my Aunt Isabel [who died in 2002] spoke openly in her later years about homosexuality, and came to accept it as something natural. I imagine my father spoke of it among friends, but never publicly,” she said recently.As late as 1987, a long introduction to a standard textbook of Lorca poems, The Poet in New York, contained not a word about his sexuality. But that US trip in 1929, which produced an explosion of anguished creativity, was the result of a failed love affair with the sculptor Emilio Aladre9n, Gibson reveals. The beautiful sculptor abandoned the poet to marry an English woman, Elizabeth Dove, which plunged Lorca into a deep depression.Poems written shortly before his death were finally published in the mid-1980s. But the title, Sonnets of a Dark Love, was softened to Love Sonnets, even though the verses clearly referred to a man: “You will never understand that I love you/ because you sleep in me and are asleep./I hide you, weeping, persecuted/ by a voice of penetrating steel.” The masculinity is clear in Spanish, in which nouns have gender.Gibson says he went back to the beginning and re-read all of Lorca’s earliest poems for this latest book. “I discovered an anguished, tortured gay love … Those who deny his homosexuality must now shut up, or at least question their prejudices. It’s a relief after so many decades of obfuscation and silence, to reveal the truth.”

    Monday, October 12, 2015 at 9:27 pm | Permalink
  2. At last! Something clear I can understand. Thanks!

    Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink
  3. Ya learn something new everyday. It’s true I guess!

    Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink
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    Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink
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    Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink
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