Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - June 7

Solitude as My Everyday Mind

Corpus Christi was yesterday. I did not concelebrate. It was a good, cool day. Wrote to Marco Pallis in answer to a good letter of his. John Wu wrote and sent some chapters of his book on Zen.

“Solitude” becomes for me less and less of a specialty, and simply “life” itself. I do not seek to “be a solitary” or anything else, for “being anything” is a distraction. It is enough to be, in an ordinary human mode, with only hunger and sleep, one’s cold and warmth, rising and going to bed. Putting on blankets and taking them off (two last night. It is cold for June!). Making coffee and drinking it. Defrosting the refrigerator, reading, meditation, working, praying. I live as my fathers have lived on this earth, until eventually I die. Amen. There is no need to make an assertion of my life, especially to assert it is MINE, though it is doubtless not somebody else’s. I must learn to gradually forget program and artifice. I know this, at least in my mind, and want it in my heart, but my other habits of awareness remain strong.

Will say the Mass of St. Alban when I go down today (Day of Recollection). Misty morning. Lots of noise from Boone’s cows. Yesterday Father Matthew, with his crazy little tractor, cut the long grass in the field next to the hermitage, and in order to do work that would not require too much concentration, did some texts of St. Maximus on nonviolence, perhaps for the Catholic Worker.

June 22, 1965, V.257-58

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