Today’s blog is not directly related our class assignment but I thought it’s an interesting experience to share about writing. Last weekend I attended a Catholic engage encounter retreat in Cedar Falls. We need to take this class in order to get married as Catholics. The whole weekend was memorable, but most of all was how much writing involved. It was vigorous!
We arrived at the American martyr retreat house at 7:00pm to check in at 7:30pm. After registration and settled in our rooms, one single room for each sex, the bell rang to signal us the retreat session had begun. All engaged couples headed toward the conference room to listen about the itinerary. The first day will be finding ourselves, second day will be finding each other, and third day was finding god. Thus we listened to lectures about ourselves. The part that I found interesting was after each lecture we were sent to our room to write down our answers based on a list of questions in the allotted time. My initial thoughts was that this feels like I am grounded so I had to go to my room to do homework. It took a while to jot down some notes since I wanted to formulate my thoughts better. When the time was up, the bell rang again to allow our significant other to come into our room to exchange our writings. We had to read each other writing twice, one was for our head and the other was for our heart. Again, it was a bit odd at first since we usually talk about things and rarely ever do we communicate about issues through writing. Looking at his writing at first I couldn’t help to pick out one grammatical error, but then when I read it over again I was able to understood the words, his penmanship and how these brought me back to the day when he handed me a tiny piece of paper with a poem he had carefully crafted for me. Oh I miss the good old days …. We exchanged several session like this on Friday night. We felt even closer than we already are.
The next morning we were woken up to the song ‘Hakuna Matata” from the Lion King at 6:40AM J, after getting ready we attended mass and ate breakfast. Afterwards we headed to the conference room, then we started series of lectures and silent writings. After the first few writing, I felt more and naturally as I used to keep a journal. In complete silence between the brick walls I wrote crazily and un-prohibited especially in the place of worth ship I let go of all disguise and masks and expectations. Writing was much much more productive, and I like the fact of just using paper and pen to write. This routine ended at 10pm at night…so that was lots of writing.
This experience was quite interesting to me in many ways. First, in our ever increasing demand for technology society (which I love) but this place required none – I felt like I am decades before in this place. There were no computers, no fancy class room except for prayer rooms, very peaceful and serene. Most of all I missed writing and reading letters using pen and papers. Since when has anyone really write a letter to someone in actual ink anymore. Importantly, no matter how far we advance as a human race, writing is still a core to our communication. I felt that through writing I can expressed complicated emotions more clearly that I would have a hard time explaining verbally. Writing allowed us to be more mindful and more effective as listener rather than talking. This form of communication is important and it’s required in every aspect at times when verbal communications fail. So I thought the writing out strategy the leaders used in the retreat was great to get other couples talking about difficult stuffs that they weren’t be able to communicate verbally.I found this especially true I used writing to express my feelings to my parents that I had hard times saying face to face to them.So the old ways not always the bad way J.