Sunday, April 18, 2010

Not That Kind of Passion

When I need a break I go for a hike in the hills. But some situations call for drastic measures. When it gets that bad you need a complete departure from civilization.

I remember going on church retreats when I was a pre-teen. They were fun, like going to camp. On one retreat I had a crush on Brian. He put his arm around me during the educational film strip, then broke my heart when he put his arm around Darleen at the campfire. It was a stressful weekend.

I believe they're offering an entirely different experience at the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center in the hills above Sierra Madre.

Their lovely website makes a retreat look so inviting I'm almost tempted to leave my iPhone behind for a weekend. On the site there's advice about how to make the most of the experience, with ideas ranging from the ethereal (how best to use your spiritual time) to the earth-bound (wear comfortable shoes for strolling the grounds). And the price is very reasonable.

The virtual tour is a bit...busy. (You'll just have to imagine that the grounds are peaceful.) But from Bailey Canyon, where I hiked high above the Center on my own mini-retreat the other day, a big retreat at Mater Dolorosa looked like heaven.

Do you think one weekend would be enough time for me to get over the whole Brian-Darleen thing?

16 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

Say, I knew a Brian like that! I'm sure one weekend will suffice, Petrea. Are dogs allowed?

Anonymous said...

I guess the Center is just in the middle of your shot.

You can also choose looking to it like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxQgXgS5G3c

And here you can find some of the story behind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monty_Python%27s_Life_of_Brian

Anonymous said...

Btw: I don’t think the idea of leaving your iPhone for a whole weekend is good.

Maybe just for one day...

altadenahiker said...

I've wondered and wandered about this place. Probably not my cup of tea, but the setting is beautiful.

(Brian says he's sorry.)

Petrea said...

OMG Karin you talked to Brian? Do you like him? Does he like you? Did he put his arm around you?

Shell, I wonder if we've all known a Brian like that. I doubt dogs are allowed, they take all the attention and it's impossible to meditate with a dog nearby.

Anonymous, that Brian is so cheerful he doesn't need a retreat, does he?

Karen said...

I didn't know Brian, but I fell in love on many a church retreat.

And yes, my heart was broken several times, so you're not alone!

Oh - the retreat center. I knew someone who went there many years ago and - at least at that time - there were many hours of silence involved. And definitely no iPhones.

Cafe Observer said...

A retreat from this temporal existence, even if only temporary, sounds heavenly. Similar to Huntington Library, the setting is beautiful.

Do you still wunder what Brian is doing now? If so, then I do think one weekend per week for one year is needed for you to get over him.

Mindy said...

I think I went on that retreat with you, lo these many years ago. My heart was broken by different boys, and words ..... it was broken with words as well.

I go on personal retreats often. I need them in my life, I find I need an increasing amount of them. I need the quiet I don't get enough of in my busied days of 57 students. Their needs fill my head as I'm cooking, as I'm gardening, or even in my dream. I can't stretch myself far enough, and so I need to go within by going ... out. I'm going up into the mountains today, as a matter of fact, along with my best friend and husband of 28 years - lucky me.

I will hope to look out on this mountain valley, breathe in those views of a thousand words, and momentarily breathe out the thousand words that fill my brain.

It sounds like you are able fill your life (and others through your reflections) with moments of retreat - an admirable quality.

Virginia said...

You didn't mention anything about a Happy Hour. Just asking.

I need the retreat now that you've caused me to dig up some similar experiences at Camp Sumatanga. I started getting dumped at a very early age. SIgh

Petrea said...

Karen, sometimes I think I'd like many hours of silence, but what I really mean by that is "many hours of silence during which to write." Not the same thing.

Cafe: Brian who?

Hello, Mindy, is that you? Yes, you were there. I changed the names, of course. You live in one of earth's most beautiful places. I'm glad you have so many chances for retreat there, and such a good friend to share it with. I've found a good spot, too, and a fine friend as well.

I guess we all get dumped, Virginia. And I guess we all do the dumping sometimes. That's one thing retreats are can help heal. And happy hour, too, methinks.

bandit said...

Oh dear - in some circles, campfire trumps film strip.

Amy said...

What a gorgeous setting! I'm sure you'll forget about Brian within hours.

Bellis said...

There's so much negative news over here in England about the Catholic church at the moment that I immediately thought Brian was one of the priests. Oops.

Thank you so much for the beautiful photo from one of my favorite trails - perhaps I'll be able to get back there some day, Right now, I'm at the mercy of an unpronounceable volcano.

Petrea said...

Hee hee, funny Bandit.

Amy: Brian who?

Bellis, no, I never went on a Catholic retreat. Plain old protestant. John and I hiked this trail the other day. Thank you for leading me to it.

J+P said...

" … in some circles, campfire trumps film strip."

Wow—I don't even know what this means, & I'm still laughing. It sounds like something a gecko would say, standing in front of a forest, in a feathered headdress, surrounded by floating dresses …

"Now now, not evah."

(BTW, I used to play drums for the Unpronounceable Volcanoes. Our first single was "Topless Diphthong.")

Petrea said...

J speaks truth. Bandit must have known.