Tuesday, January 8, 2019

nameless & no where: the paradise tree

Photo by Thomas Merton

There is no where in you a paradise that is no place
and there
You do not enter except without a story
To enter there is to become unnameable.

Whoever is there is homeless for he has no door
and no identity
with which to go out and to come in.

Whoever is nowhere is nobody, and therefore cannot exist
except as unborn:
No disguise will avail him anything

Such a one is neither lost nor found.

Bue he who has an address is lost.

They fall, they fall into apartments and are
securely established!

They find themselves in streets. They are licensed
To proceed from place to place
They now know their own names
They can name several friends and know
Their own telephones must some time ring.

If all telephones ring at once, if all names are shouted at
once and
all cars crash at one crossing:
If all cities explode and fly away in dust
Yet identities refuse to be lost. There is a name and number
for everyone.

There is a definite place for bodies, there are pigeon holes
for ashes:
Such security can business buy!

Who would dare to go nameless in so secure a universe?
Yet, to tell the truth, only the nameless are at home in it.

They bear with them in the center of nowhere the unborn
flower of nothing:
This is the paradise tree. It must remain unseen until words
end and arguments are silent.

- Merton, "The Fall", In the Dark before the Dawn, pp. 184-185

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