Saturday, February 23, 2019

Merton's 2nd level of Silence

Photo by Thomas Merton

February, 1952

Siting on a cedar log under a tree
gazing out at light blue hills in the distance,
Merton saw his true self
as a kind of 
solitary sea creature
dwelling in a water cavern
which knows of the world of dry land
only by faint rumor.

When he got free of plans and projects 
-- the first level of the sea with its troubled surface --
then he entered a deeper second level,
the deep waters out of reach of storms
where there was ...

"peace, peace, peace ...
We pray therein, slightly waving among the fish ...
Words, as I think, do not spring from this second level.
They are only meant to drown there."

"The question of socialization does not concern
these waters.
They are nobody's property."

"No questions whatever
perturb their holy botany.
Neutral territory.
No man's sea."

"I think God meant me to write about this second level."

From an essay by Jim Forest, "Thomas Merton: One Foot in the Wilderness, One Foot in the World."

Merton's quoted words from Sign of Jonas, 338-39

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Stuff of Contemplation (Joan Chittister)

Thomas Merton, Trappist, died December 10, 1968 Thomas Merton entered the Abbey of Gethsemane in Bardstown, Kentucky, at the age of twenty-s...