January 25, 1964. I am aware of the need for constant self-revision and growth, leaving behind the renunciations of yesterday and yet in continuity with all my yesterdays. For to cling to the past is to lose one’s continuity with the past, since this means clinging to what is no longer there.
My ideas are always changing, always moving around one center, and I am always seeing that center from somewhere else.
Hence, I will always be accused of inconsistency. But I will no longer be there to hear the accusation. (“Dancing in the Water of Life”, p. 67)
Late 1965. To say that I am a child of God is to say, before everything else, that I grow. That I begin. A child who does not grow becomes a monster. The idea “Child of God” is therefore one of living growth, becoming, possibility, risk, and joy in the negotiation of risk. In this God is pleased that His child grows in wisdom and grace.
(“Dancing in the Water of Life”, p. 334)
Comments from Roger Lipsey on this drawing: “Merton could be counted on to produce a lively school of Christian fish, and he does no disappoint. …The early work is jaunty and optimistic, slightly awkward, again full of promise. That sort of dynamism – energy large enough to swim against the current – was evident in Merton’s art from start to finish.
“As Merton gained mastery of the brush, he continued from time to time to explore the emblem of the fish in ways increasingly impressive. … This fish is not one to cradle in safe places, nibbling dreams. It is a fish on the move, a questing fish. …” (“Angelic Mistakes, The Art of Thomas Merton”, by Roger Lipsey, p. 44-45)