Okay, I guess I’ve failed on my Leten project because I didn’t post on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. It isn’t that I didn’t want to, but I was out of town. I won’t post that kind of information when I’m actually gone. Personally, I think people on Facebook are crazy when they comment that they are out of town. I may know my friends, but I don’t know all my friends’ friends and knowing my friends, I’m sure I’m the least weird of the lot. So, there’s my story. I was out at a church retreat on Long Beach Island over the weekend.
I suppose I could have stayed honest by still writing something and posting it when I got back to reality, and, I had every intention of doing that. However four hours of sleep over three days has a way of making me, oh, I don’t know, INSANE!!!!
And the word “retreat” is really a misnomer for the volunteers who are working it unless it is interpreted as retreating from society in the hopes that one won’t ever have to speak to another person again.
Contrary to popular opinion, I am an introvert. Yes, I know that is making some of my 377 FB friends laugh (because I KNOW all of you are reading my blog) but I am an introvert. It actually took one of the speakers from one of our retreat weekends to tell me I was an introvert. He explained to us that introverted people can be very outgoing, it’s just that introverts get their energy from being alone and extroverts get their energy from being with people. People drain me. I have a very limited amount of “nice” inside of me and unless I get some alone time every day, all the nice runs out. I think that my husband and children will tell you that my nice ran out this weekend. Isn’t that sad–on a wonderful, spiritual, Godly weekend and I was a crankyosaurus by Sunday morning.
But I didn’t get ANY alone time except for 10 minutes on Sunday morning when I was nursing a migraine (or some type of nightmare, killer headache from one of the lower circles of Hell). I wanted to go back to the room and take a quick shower and then I realized I didn’t have enough time before the next activity started. So I sat on the back deck of the Victorian Hotel, in 30 degree weather staring at the bay. There is something very odd and beautiful about snow on the beach. A rightness and wrongness that I cannot quite describe. It feels very old to me–back in the days of some prehistoric ice age when glaciers crawled across the land.
There was this fence on the deck and in my sleep deprived stupor I kept staring at it. The wood railings were dark against the whiteness of the sand-snow and if I stared at the bars, the sand-snow faded away and all I could see was the darkness of the railings. If I shifted my eyes and focused on the sand-snow, the brightness overtook the railings and all I could see was light. For one brief second, I forgot about my crushing, mind-boggling headache and realized that this was the only moment I needed at the retreat. The most important moment. I took out my cell phone and found the notepad setting while trying to not take my eyes off the sand-snow. And I wrote:
Stare at the darkness and the light disappears. Stare at the light and the darkness disappears. It all depends on where you put your focus.