Monday, January 10, 2011

Retreat, part 2: free time fun

The retreat wasn't all study.  We had free time between sessions and there was many ways to spend it.  First of all, the convent was located in a beautiful spot.  I'd love to go back in the spring, summer or fall when it's not so cold and snowy.  I'm sure it would be really pretty.
There was a lake there and it was frozen (this tends to happen in the winter), so one afternoon, when the sun was shining, I went out to play on the ice.  I checked it first and decided it was thick enough to support me.  It was so pretty (see pictures).  It had "flash frozen" so there were air bubbles trapped in the ice. But after playing on the ice for awhile I got told that we weren't allowed on the ice because it was too fresh.  It frustrated me a little, but I understand where they were coming from.  It is a liability and if someone isn't familiar with ice and ice safety it could end badly, since some spots were rather thin yet (one spot even had open water yet).
Pictures of the ice.  Click to enlarge.
Pictures of the bubbles in the ice.  Click to enlarge.

We could also spend our free time in the chapel of the Mother house.  It was a beautiful chapel and when I walked into it, I felt like I had been transported back to Germany.  When I reached for a prayer book, I actually expected it to be in German.  It wouldn't have surprised me so much if I had known that the order of nuns that we were staying with was a German order and the chapel had been modeled after a chapel in Germany. So it makes sense that it looked and felt German.  It was still decorated for Christmas and was wonderful.  I loved sitting there and spending time in prayer and meditation.  I might not agree with Catholics on every theological point, but they definitely have a good thing with the kneeling benches in the pews.  It was so good to have the space to spend time on my knees in the chapel.  Sometimes, after breakfast we could hear organ music coming from the chapel and if we had time before first session, I liked to go sit and listen.  I could feel the music vibrate through the floors and pews and it was incredibly comforting and peaceful.
The large chapel in the Mother house. Click to enlarge
In the evenings we liked to hang out in the "onion room" and play games, chat or do puzzles.  Many people played cards.  Other people preferred to play a crazy game about Zombies.  I don't understand much about zombies, but it seemed to be a fun game.  I know that to kill zombies, should they actually exist, all I need to do is roll doubles. So, if a zombie ever comes, I'll be finding a pair of dice and rolling frantically to get doubles. ;)
My fun came largely from sitting off to the side of the Zombie game and listening to things they said and writing it down.  The best is when they combined real life with the game. Here is a sampling of quotes that made me smile:
“I want hot chocolate too.  Can we both use the meat cleaver?”
“Can you find me a shotgun?”
“Can I pick up a signal flare? It's kinda like a gun...”
“Why can't you just die?!?!”
“Plot twist!  Nom Nom!”
“I don't want to eliminate her right away.  That's boring.  Or we just kill her now”
“Which zombie color are you?”
“I'm just going to go on a rampage”
“If you kill her, then she's dead and can't fight Louis”
“We need to find a shotgun.”
“I need to not die!”
“She's dead! Nom nom nom!”
“I can do all sorts of things in that field!”
“I lost the chainsaw” “Isn't that an awfully big thing to lose?”

If you didn't know what was going on, you would really wonder.  And even knowing what was going on, I wondered.  It was good entertainment though. :)
This is the Zombie game. 
People playing games.  Click to enlarge.


Angela said...

I don't think I could play the Zombie game. It would give me nightmares :P

Joy said...

It was an interesting game...I never played, but it was entertaining to hear some of the things said. :)