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Breakfast and Poustinia

Welcome to by break-fast post!

The digital fast has ended. I spent the last three weeks on a personal vacation which included a fast from social media and most digital media in general. I say most digital media because I did create some art on my iPad (but I didn’t share it or peek at my Facebook feed).

So, today I break my fast.

The vacation was wonderful and I may share snippets of our adventures in the near future. Today I want to share one experience I had that produced one piece of art.

I spent this past Tuesday afternoon, all day Wednesday, and Thursday morning in a silent retreat at Pacem in Terris in Isanti, MN. I had never taken a silent retreat. It is highly recommended. I stayed in the St. Francis of Assisi Hermitage for two nights (see picture to the right). It is a simple and beautiful little structure that has no electricity or running water. It only has a gas burner to heat water and a gas lamp fixture on the wall to light the night. The idea is that you bring only a Bible, a journal, and an open heart and mind.

There was a little book in the hermitage titled Poustinia. It is a Russian word that means desert. The book serves as an introduction to spending time in silence and solitude. The poustinia experience was wonderful.

Many images flooded my mind and many journal pages filled up with thoughts during the experience. I want to share one in particular. It started as this pen sketch in my paper journal.

I was so excited about this image that, after returning home, I brought it into my Procreate app on the iPad and created this version. I invite you to feast on this image. It is what, I believe, we are called to be and do as the church.

I’m glad to be back sharing with you. Enjoy this poustinia breakfast!


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  • Terry K July 23, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Steve, I too stayed at the St Francis of Assisi Hermitage about 7 years back. For me a very humbling experience, but a very good one. Glad to see you back from your fast.

    • stevethomason July 23, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      Terry, that’s so cool that you were in the same hermitage. Glad to be back from the fast. Thanks for reading.

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