What does “retreat” mean to you?

Or, more precisely, when your heart, body, and soul scream in unison “Retreat!”, what images come to mind?

I’ve joked that my pattern interrupt has been so on-going that when I finally settle back into a pattern that will be the interruption, that the liminal spaces and places have stretched so long and wide, they are no longer liminal. This is a place and space I’m in, have been in, and may be in for a while longer.

I want to retreat from it.

Is that what you envisioned? A retreat from something?

But the “it” is not so much the problem, it’s my position in it. I can’t seem to center.

Could this be my grief? Based on a couple of sentiments sent to me, I don’t seem to wear grief as expected. I don’t wear it well or maybe I forgot to put it on? Everything is scattered.

In this vast and spreading liminal space, I scramble. I can’t seem to find the edge from which to jump off, and the center shifts beneath my feet.

I want to retreat to something, to a new pattern that can be interrupted later (much later please), a routine to steady my step and move my projects forward.

I’m lost on the liminal plains.

When you think retreat!, what do you see?

Serious question because I’m not just asking for myself. I also have a retreat project.

Would you retreat to or from?

I want both.

Would you retreat alone or with a group?

Part of me craves alone. In isolation with running water, coffee, cheese, and tortillas. Just me and the basics.

I could also go with alone but pampered, where meals magically appear, and the universe mysteriously draws a warm bath for soaking in the flickering light of scented candles.

If you choose group over alone, would you choose a group of friends or a group of like-minded strangers gathered to hone a craft or learn a new skill?

Part of me longs for a retreat with a group, another boat trip with girlfriends, on the water, in the semi-wild of a large lake.

I’m also actively looking for writing retreats that appeal.

So many choices. But what is the right one right now?

I’m not sure if “Retreat!” is the key to releasing myself from this perpetual pattern interrupt, but I’m ready to give it a try. And if it turns out that this is just a fancy way to decorate the ever-extending liminal spaces, I’ll take one alone over there in that corner, a pampered one by the window, please, a friends’ one in the middle seems right, and we can polish it off with a learning one right here up front.

What kind of retreat does your heart long for? Say the word retreat a few times and close your eyes. Tell me what you see.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2022