Such a wonderful few days it has been, a whirlwind of activity in my life, but also a rich feast for me.  It will take me many days to just be present to it all, to mine the treasures given to me, and I am eager to write about the unfolding journey.

Our first Monthly Gathering of the year was a rousing success, and not just because we had 25 wonderful creative souls attending.  For me it was the passion present in that room, the sense of connection we shared in our stories. These Gatherings always give me hope about what is possible when you connect that many people committed to nurturing the creative spirit in their lives.  As Lew commented so poignantly in my last post, there was such beauty in the trust of each other, and what can emerge from a space like that can change the world.

My workshop at the Priory on Saturday was also a wonderful time, especially because of the women who participated so joyfully.  It felt like a new journey of discovery for many of them and opening people up to the power of the arts in their lives and prayer is something that brings me such great joy.

I also attended our first Oblate meeting of the year this afternoon and seeing faces both familiar and new reminded me of the joys I find in that community.  Lots of dreams this weekend as well.  So much to reflect on.  Insights about art and spirituality, Benedictine spirituality, new visions for myself and my work.  But for now, I will simply relax into a long warm bath and then slip into deep resorative slumber knowing that the week ahead brings much time for integration of these gifts offered, time for writing, time for celebrating.  I am so very blessed.

Sweet dreams.

-Christine Valters Paintner

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