On slicing onions at a silent retreat and other life updates

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The past week has been one incredible blur.

Last weekend was lovely and I cannot think of anything better to do after exams. J and I went to Hot Springs (outside of Asheville) to the Southern Dharma Center for three days. We spent the entirety of the weekend in silence, living in one beautiful and intentional community and participating in working meditations, seated meditations, and even a little yoga. I learned a lot through the experience and found the whole thing to be more rewarding than challenging in the end.

One funny moment of the weekend was during my kitchen working meditation for three hours. I was assigned various tasks, mostly chopping vegetables and fruit. And I quickly learned that in the past when I cut an onion, I make it clear to the world what I am doing. I found it all so frustrating, tears streaming down my face, eyes stinging in pain and not being able to share that with my fellow workers. In the process I managed so cut myself and found myself once again wanting to resort to words and wanting to share my pain with others. I didn’t and through the painful, now funny experience, I learned that communication extends far beyond my simple words.

After our retreat ended and our hike through the snow, J and I went to the hot springs and then drove home.

On the drive home, I turned my phone back on and learned that my favorite person in the world, Gran had had a stroke. She is and always will be my hero and it all came so suddenly. My week since I learned the news has seemed hazy, difficult, and confusing. She is in our thoughts and prayers constantly and I look forward to spending time with her someday soon. She’s a truly remarkable, fiesty and fun individual and not being with her in all this has been torture.

I’m back in Davidson, back home and in light of everything, I look forward to being with family and enjoying these next few weeks.

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