I am leaving for a pilgrimage to Ireland next week and so will be taking a blogging Sabbatical for the next month until early July. We have done so much planning, the housesitter will be staying at the Abbey to care for our Abbess Tune, now all that is left is a few more details like packing and then heading off on our adventure. The next few days will be busy, so I need to set aside any other work.
While I am away I have some resources for you to peruse. K. at the blog Onehouse recently started a community blog called Listening Point about the contemplative life. The posts have been lovely and deep (and not just because I have a post up today) :-) . Tess from Anchors and Masts who reads here has contributed. I have also been discovering some new blogs that I am enjoying as well. I found the blog of another Christine who lives in Seattle called GodSpace — she has a link to a great article about why working less is better for the planet (not to mention your soul). If you are in the Seattle area, she also invites you to consider participating in a Celtic retreat August 17-19 on Camano Island. Beyond Rivalry has a great poem from Louise Erdrich called "Advice to Myself." Also visit this Desert blog with great recent posts on mysticism. There are other lovely looking blogs linked at Listening Point that I hope to explore more once I return from travels.
I had hoped to get my self-published book project done before I left, but then I realized there was more I wanted to do, bringing in collage, paint, and lettering rather than just leaving it with photos and text. And so I asked my inner taskmaster to step aside and let my inner artist breathe and move into more spaciousness when I return from my trip. I have dedicated my summer to creativity and play. I also had another round of editing to do for our lectio divina book being published by Paulist Press which I had to complete before going away. It now has a publication date of July 2008. Some other projects in the works as well, but more about those when I return.
I will be spending time away from the computer this month with perhaps an occasional email check in a cafe. But mostly I will be breathing deeply and delighting in a land of great natural and historical beauty. I feel this deep kinship to those ancient monks who were immersed in the arts and nature. I am eager to see the Book of Kells and the book of creation. I have this sense that our trip is going to open up an entirely new space within me and I have no idea what it will look like.
Your prayers are welcome, especially for my sweet Tune, that she feels safe and secure while we are away. Getting the right setup for her has been by far the most stressful element of preparing for this trip, but I feel good about the people who will be caring for her.
I also ask your prayers for a young boy named Emilio, he is a friend's son and he is in the hospital with a very serious eye infection that could necessitate surgery to remove the eye. Prayers for his healing and for my friend's comfort.
See you in July!
-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbeyof the Arts