Saturday, December 5, 2015

Share #23: Another potluck

Day two of the retreat. No breakfast. No dinner last night. Though silent, I am still looking forward to it, another uncomfortable potluck. I am hungry and want to eat, though I know I could go without food if I needed to. I'm not ravenous. I've had one meal every day of this project. That's quite enough I am finding.

As usual, I found a way to be last in line at the buffet. When someone gets in line behind me, I find excuses to get out and come back later. I was last again. Being last means I get what no one wants. And it means no one is crowding me from behind. And I won't feel compelled to leave some for the next person. I am the next person! I can take whatever I want, without trying to be selfless. This is how I find ways around being who I am.

Before getting into the line, I craftily visited the end of the banquet table where dessert was, where the bread and fruit and cheeses were. I prefer open spaces to crowds. I prefer to be where things are flowing and to avoid congestion. This happens where you start at the opposite end of things (opposite to the herds or conventions). I do this at airports too. I'd wait til everyone has boarded, then walk jauntily aboard myself, without waiting in any line. Why rush to stand in line when you can sit reading and writing til the end?

Before the retreat this morning I went in search of some bread. I had an hour to spare. I wanted to contribute some fresh local bread to the potluck. I went to two bakeries. Neither would have bread before 10 am. Really? I weighed my options and waited for baguette at Honore, which meant I'd be late. Fresh loaves were worth it. They arrived at 9:45am. I carried two warm baguettes into the retreat center, then slipped into the event room and listened to Robert again. A long preamble. I wished he'd arrive an hour earlier and get this out of the way. Then he would be ready for me, as I am ready for him. Hmph!

After an hour, he started to get into the meat of it. Then he was flowing and engaging and I was interested again. I appreciated some of what he had to say. I disagreed with a lot. At the end of the day, I felt suddenly alert and heard him say something directly to me. He was explaining my situation, without knowing my situation. He said, "At this juncture, is helpful to have a teacher." "Ah, but who?" He explained how our foundation will fall away when we fully let go of our self. "There will be a time when things fall away as soon as they arise. At this time there is a sense of confusion and terror." I do not feel terror. I feel passive. What is this about?

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