Next week I am leaving everything I know to spend ten days completely disconnected from the world, to sit silently and meditate in a room full of hippies … er … people. My friend Ann went on this retreat several months ago and so did her friend Bob (a woman). After hearing about their respective experiences there I looked into it myself and signed up for one. For a while, I put it out of my mind. I was positive that something would come up and prevent me from going, but as time passed it finally sunk in and I realized I was really gonna go.
I will have to relinquish my computer and cell phone. I won’t even be able to have a book to read or a journal to write in. I won’t even be speaking. For ten days I will wake up at 4 am and spend 10 hours a day doing nothing but meditating (well there’ll be some eating and walking around so as I don’t starve or go crazy). I am both nervous and excited. My friends are all quite surprised that I’m doing this. Some of them have been supportive. I’m pretty sure the rest have set up a betting pool of how long I’ll last in silence.
Since I won’t have my computer or phone with me there is only one way of getting in touch with me which is calling the retreat center, though this is only reserved for emergencies. As such, a couple weeks ago I emailed my roommate and my mother the emergency contact phone number. In the email I said, “You two have the privilege of being the only two people who have the contact information of my retreat.” I should have known better than to tell my mother that she was “privileged.” She will remind me that she’s the reason I am even alive.
This is her email reply:
I wish to thank the Academy, I mean, Biana, for this privilege. I’m honored to receive this award. I want to thank Baba Asia for helping me raise her [Editor’s Note: my grandmother & nanny & cleaner upper of all my messes. Also, her name is NOT pronounced like the continent.]. I also want to thank from the bottom of my heart her brother David, who paved the way for such a beautiful human being [We had a good devil child/angel child thing going for a while. I was the angel obviously. More on this later.]. I also want to thank her stepfather Vov who bravely changed her diet and saved her stomach [You wouldn’t know it by looking at me today, but I was a scrawny, and possibly underweight, kid with a terrible addiction to Chips Ahoy! cookies. At one point I was up to a sleeve per day. My stepfather is to thank for breaking me from this habit. I mean the man pretty much saved my life and taught me everything I know, but that’s another story for another day. Now I am an overweight adult with not much of a sweet tooth. Go figure!] Most of all I want to thank my uterus and my vagina for giving birth to her. [Mind you, she had me via C-section. I know because she once showed me her scar. I am now scared for life.] I’ll be forever grateful for this privilege. -Mom
My mother ladies & gentlemen.
I shall have a full report about the retreat when I get back. For now, I have lots of work to finish up and packing to do so I bid you all adieu.
P.S. Hi Mom! Love you!