Here’s something to add to your list of things not to do: spend a week talking about God and art, fly home, go directly to the outlet mall. Not sanity inducing.
I spent last week at the Glen West Workshop in Santa Fe. I feel as if it reversed the spin of my subatomic particles—in a good way.
While searching for what might have shifted my perceptions, I realized that I spent so little time last week wanting things: wanting people to be different from who they are, wanting my life—or at least my income source and the state of my bathroom floor—to be different from what it is, wanting more dessert (OK, so there were eight flavors of self-serve ice cream, two of them chocolate, which was pretty magical).
We talked so little about discontent. We talked about poetry and writing habits and how to construct a play and where we were from and whether the worship service had gotten us to a prayerful place. And when we discussed difficult things, we focused on our experiences and what we might do next rather than assigning blame.
I do not think this happened because we were a gathering of saints who never speak ill of others in our daily lives. I think it happened because the Glen somehow managed to create an environment that says, there is enough: enough time, enough opportunity, enough talent, enough people who care, enough love. An environment that is the opposite of the one I found at the outlet malls.
Granted, it is easier to believe this when someone else is cooking your food and doing the dishes to boot, but I’m convinced that our everyday existence could be filled with so much more enoughness than it tends to be.
I don’t know how yet, but I intend to find out.