Saturday, July 14, 2007

While our quiet little retreat center has a lot going for it (including a pool and basketball court) it's only a short drive (or a nifty hike on the Appalachian Trail) away from a park on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border with a full-on playground. Our retreatants couldn't resist its dizzying lure Wednesday -- captured here by my iPhone.

And I can't resist sharing these three photos (DSLR this time) of J, the youngest member of a 7 person family I accompanied this past week. I don't speak either Portuguese or Crioulo (the Cape Verdean dialect of archaic Portuguese that was this family's first language) so Spanish had to do. And it did. A long with lots of wide eyes and wider smiles.

It was a challenge for me, the guy for whom precision and nuance in language are fundamental (and which do so much of the heavy lifting of meaning), to muddle through what I pray were meaningful discussions of the sacred texts of our lives along with the sacred text of the Gospel. (The latter presented in lively often-bilingual skits with almost as many anachronistic elements as timeless ones.)

In good time, the silences became less awkward and the moments of together-ness transcended the oxymoronic universal alienation that can fill the vacuum of a shared language. And if nothing else, digital photography gave us that satisfying shared experience of pointing at a screen with laughter, oohs and ahhs.


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