Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - July 14

When My Books Are Read at Me

Here I sit surrounded by bees and I write in this book. The bees are happy and therefore they are silent. They are working in the delicate white flowers of the weeds among which I sit. I am on the east side of the house, where I am not as cool as I thought I was going to be, and I sit on top of the bank that looks down over the beehives and the pond where the ducks used to be and Rohan’s Knob in the distance.

In the Chapter Room they are finishing Seeds of Contemplation, reading a couple of pages each evening before Compline.

I am glad the book has been written and read. Surely I have said enough about the business of darkness and about the “experimental contact with God in obscurity” to be able to shut up about it and go on to something else for a change. Otherwise it will just get to be mechanical—grinding out the same old song over and over again. But if it had not been read aloud at me, I might have forgotten how often I had said all those things, and gone on saying them again, as if they were discoveries. For I am aware that this often happens in our life. Keep a journal has taught me that there is not so much new in the interior life as one sometimes thinks. When you reread your journal you find out that your newest discovery is something you found out five years ago. Still, it is true that one penetrates deeper and deeper into the same ideas, the same experiences.

As usual, after one of my books has been read at me, I am left with the wish that I were simpler.

July 10, 1949, II.333

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