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Silence is Golden

Sep 19, 2008 Michael Wurzer

I’m taking some time off next week for the first time in quite awhile. The main event of my vacation will be a silent retreat at Demontreville, a Jesuit retreat center just outside of Minneapolis. The location is outstandingly beautiful and, in this age of constant distraction, dedicating time to silence and reflection is often revelatory and certainly rewarding. No phones, no Internet, no talking for three days and nights.

Some may find such a prospect frightening and, indeed, there is an awkwardness to the silence, especially at the beginning. By the second day, though, the routine takes over and the calm begins to set in, which, in years past, has opened many doors for me. The last time I attended was two years ago with my father-in-law and brother-in-law. I so enjoyed spending the silent time with them. I missed last year in part because my father-in-law passed away, leaving us decidedly amiss. I’ll certainly miss Henry this year and yet it will be a great opportunity to remember him as well, as he lived a thankful life for which I also strive.

On a more logistical note, I will only be out of reach for the four days of the retreat (September 25-28), though I’m also taking the first three days of next week off just to bum around the house and spend time with my wife and kids after school. After the retreat, I’ll be staying in Minneapolis to go to a doctor appointment with my mom and then the CMLS conference comes right on the heels of that, so I’ll essentially be out of the office for two weeks. I expect blogging will be light over the next few weeks (not a big change there!), and hopefully some rest followed by the CMLS conference will bring some excitement back to the FBS Blog.