This morning was my last one at the seaside retreat run by the Sisters of Mercy. I can't think the last time I saw the sun rise, and I got two rounds of it from the Tower where I spent 48 hours in solitude.

I don't think I would have chosen to do this at this point, being still something of a recovering recluse, but my friend Meg who booked the room couldn't use it, and I was interested to see what it would be like painting there.

WildFire, just a few days before, was very intimately about earth and fire, and very close community. The Mercy Center was its polar opposite in every way: being about water and wind, and apart-ness. There are other people there, but it's understood you don't intrude on the privacy they've come for, so most of the time people pass you without so much as a look.

This was very strange at first, but with nothing else to do I just painted and painted, and with no one to talk to I found myself being able to absorb all that had occurred in the last week. I got a lot of good work and meditation done.