On the last day of a rough but fortunate voyage,
near the farthest end of the known world,
I found my way to the shores of sentient mountain...
There is another kind of justice than the justice of number,
which can neither forgive nor be forgiven.
There is another kind of mercy than the mercy of Law
which knows no absolution.
There is a justice of newborn worlds which cannot
There is a mercy of individual things that spring into
being without reason.
They are just without reason, and their mercy is without
They have received rewards beyond description
because they themselves refuse to be described.
They are virtuous in the sight of God
because their names do not identify them.
Every plant that stands in the light of the sun is a saint
and an outlaw.
Every tree that brings forth blossoms without the
command of man
is powerful in the sight of God.
Every star that man has not counted
is a world of sanity and perfection.
Every blade of grass is an angel singing in a shower of glory.
These are worlds of themselves.
No man can use or destroy them.
Theirs is the life that moves without being seen and cannot
It is useless to look for what is everywhere.
It is hopeless to hope for what cannot be
gained because you already have it.
-Thomas Merton, "Atlas and the Fat Man", Collected Poems, pp. 690-691
Sunday, December 9, 2012
these are worlds of themselves, their names do not identify them
From the NASA Space Advent Calendar which is HERE.
(NASA, ESA, M. Postman and D. Coe (STScI), and the CLASH Team)