Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lessons in Solitude: Stay or Leave? (A Two-Part)


Part I.
7:05 a.m.

I woke up at 6:15 today to catch the sunrise over Folly Beach. Beautiful, for sure, but I feel like I need to write prose and poetry of epic vocabulary proportions.


I'm just trying to decide whether or not I want to stay at the hostel another night.

Yesterday, after leaving the beach, I felt very ready to leave. Wait, need for clarification here: I mean, LEAVE leave - pack my car up and head back to Charlotte.

Wandering around a town where no one knows my name (except maybe now that espresso guy from Caviar & Bananas who has to take your name for orders. "Erin? Your kama chai sutra tea is ready.") can be an exciting idea at first. A town where I didn't set out to make new friends, just be in my own company. And yes, I am well aware that the purpose of my being here is to spend time in quiet, mostly silent, retreat.

Retreat from what?

I feel like I spend a great portion of my life chatting away. I teach, I perform and I love a good conversation. And not even good conversation in small doses. I could go on for a good many days before I feel the need for verbal break.

So what's a girl to do when this part of life is cut off? Throw in the towel and drive home? All of this wandering around, with no one knowing my's beginning to wear on me a bit. But I know I can't leave just yet. I'm not so dense or fickle that I do not recognize the need for lessons learned in not speaking.

As I was so gently reminded by a phone conversation last night (and yes - my rules of quiet retreat are upheld until 9 p.m. each evening, so I'm allowed to talk after hours), it is not easy shutting up long enough to feel the Lord's voice inside of oneself - to begin to view the world through a glimpse of His words and vision for me. It takes some serious adjusting.

So, Father. Creator. Speak in me as I fight to remain still today. Teach me what You will. Allow me to rest in You. Reveal Yourself in the quiet today.


Part II.
3:05 p.m.

I can't believe it took me this long to finally swim in the ocean. (And by "this long," I mean on this trip, not my whole life). Silly fears (silly, to me) have kept me back this time, a prime example being that I end up on the news as the most recent shark attack victim. Or what if a rip tide pulls me away and no one notices? So, I waited until a pleasant-looking family with boogie boards took to the water before I finally went in.

I honestly don't feel like writing at this moment. I just wanted to say that being in the water was really the only thing missing from this trip.

I haven't felt like talking much today. If nothing else, I feel God could be reminding me that it's okay to be quiet. It's okay to listen, to observe, to not fill the world in on every detail of my existence.

My God is pure. And true. And good.

I am thankful to be resting in this today.

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