"Considerable Dance", brush drawing by Thomas Merton
"The Lord plays and diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear His call and follow Him in His mysterious, cosmic dance. We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of that game, of that dancing. When we are alone on a starlit night; when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children; when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash – at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the “newness,” the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.
"For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness … No despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always here. Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it to or not.
"Yet the fact remains that we are invited to forget ourselves on purpose, cast our awful solemnity to the winds and join in the general dance. "
- NEW SEEDS OF CONTEMPLATION, pp. 296-97
Lipsey’s comments on this drawing:
“ …Considerable Dance seems to me without secrets … designed and sophisticated: an armature of mostly diagonal brushstrokes creates a tilted platform for dancing curved strokes that set the image into joyful motion … [the] message is no more and no less than shared joy …”
(Angelic Mistakes, The Art of Thomas Merton, by Roger Lipsey, p. 46)