Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - July 6

The Daily Monastic Craziness

We have a mechanical monster on the place called a D-4 Traxcavator, which is enormous and rushes at the earth with a wide open maw and devours everything in sight. It roars terribly, especially when it is hungry. It has been given to the lay-brother novices. They feed it every day, and you can’t hear yourself think in the monastery while the brute is at table. It is yellow and has a face like a drawbridge and is marked all over with signs saying it comes from the Wayne Supply Company in Louisville, but really, as I know from secret information, it was born on a raft in Memphis, Tennessee. There the hippopotamus abounds, which this instrument greatly resembles.

We have bought fans. They are exhaust fans. You make a hole in the building and put the fans there, and they draw all the hot air out of the dormitory. Nobody knows what happens after that. My guess is that the hot air that went out through the fan is then replaced by the hot air that comes in through the windows. The fans are not yet running because the lay-brother novices have not yet made the holes in the building. However, they have begun. They have a scaffold up on the roof of the infirmary, and they have been blasting at the gable of that wing with jackhammers, and two frail novices who are very young were posted down on the ground floor near the doorways with artistic signs which read “Falling Bricks.” At first one of them was standing on the precise spot where all the falling bricks would land on his head. He was saying the Rosary in an attitude of perfect abandonment.

July 11, 1949, II.335

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