At Rivendell I was at my most friendly. I had come out of my solitary cell to see and talk with people. I smiled during silent ‘chapel’ time. I introduced myself to strangers in the hall and on the sidewalk. Breakfast lunch and dinner became a time for chatting and the treasure of getting to know strangers. I even talked poetry with a group from the States.
Most returned my friendliness. Others smiled and retreated to their rooms. One made me know with a look that I was not part of her group and how dare I take up her time when she was here to get to know them better. One woman closed the kitchen door and actually faced me down telling me that I was too loud. After my shock had abated, I apologized saying that I did not realize that.
I had assuaged my feelings of isolation there with some rich conversations. I was getting caught up on my reading. The day before I left, I read the ‘personal retreat’ page in the manual on the desk. I had not taken the time to read the binder as I had been at Rivendell three times before, but never on a personal retreat. It was then that I read that silence was a virtue as some, on the third floor, were there on silent retreat.
Uggh, I had embarrassed myself again. I blushed in private. In breaking my silence I had violated theirs. I became quiet. I returned home quiet.
How often have I been out of step with my peers? I have continued on aware of some difference with people but unknowing of the reason? This is why I need an all-knowing God for guidance daily to recover from my blunderings.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Book of First Corinthians