No more than five minutes after I had walked in the door of my apartment, I received a surprise phone call from my dissertation director, Professor Fahey, now retired at Boston College. He knew my timetable for traveling and the retreat, but I had to start laughing at the appearance of his eagerness for me to get started on the work for the summer. He was in fact just making a friendly call about something else, but I still smile at hearing his voice just after I had arrived home, and my initial assumption that he was calling to dog me on to work: my eyebrows shot right off the top of my head and I had to go pick them up off the floor while we talked. I've started poking at the thing, and I think I'm writing my third chapter before my second, since I think the third – which is my most "theoretical" – might be able to influence the insights I come up with in my second, more so than the reverse.
I also received an anonymous message off of Facebook telling me that I had a sexy brain. That was both complimentary and (potentially) disappointing in its anonymity. So I have a sexy brain. The image that comes to my mind is a 1930s gothic horror movie, of me with my sexy brain in a jar on a shelf in my apartment, where occasionally I look at it fondly as it pulses in its bubbling and mysterious liquid.
I'll continue writing up the trip. I had started another entry in Denver International Airport during my three-hour layover there, but it got lost when my laptop unexpectedly went into sleep mode with 15% of my battery power left. At least I know where that cutoff is now.
Michael Wurtz, C.S.C., (Happy Birthday to Michael!) posted some of his photography from the retreat on his new blog (on "Blogspot," alas! I couldn't convince him to switch over to the much more adaptable and cool LiveJournal), and I've copied those over into my own photo album. He had a particular eye, I notice, for shooting us while we were praying and meditating, unbeknownst to us at the time. I've never seen myself in such images before, which was strange – in this case as I paced around the grounds strumming on the guitar last Sunday; has it already been a week?! – and I found these images to be strangely moving and sensitive: perhaps a bit of an artistic achievement, or perhaps a case of "You had to be there." I don't know for sure. But it captured a bit of what made the long weekend together a powerful one.