Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - September 23

Holiness and the Daily Round

Last night, at moonrise (the moon is full) a doe was out in the field again. She has become quite used to me. I walked about saying Compline in front of the hermitage and she was not disturbed, even came down the field towards me! I only hope this tameness is wisely confined to one association: with the white hermitage and the monk in black and white, without a rifle. There is no question that I really feel I am living a saner and better life in the hermitage. I would not exchange this for anything, even though for four days a snake was living in the jakes. (I finally persuaded him to go elsewhere, I hope!) In spite of the hornets, the noise of the machines in the field, the dogs and hunters, etc. All this is plain ordinary reality without any need of ideology or explanation. It is. That is enough. In the monastery everything has to be justified because everything is very seriously under question. Here only I am under question, and it is right for me to face the doubt which is my own empirical self, myself as question, knowing that in myself I also have Christ as answer. For the rest--I love the night silence, the early meditation and the moon, the reading and the breakfast coffee (or good tea!), sawing wood after sunrise, washing up, tired, as the sun begins to grow warm and the Atlanta plane goes over. Afternoon meditation slow--then work on the book (Conjectures)--office in the late afternoon, quiet supper, reading, walking, looking at the hills, the silence, the moon, the does, darkness, prayer, bed.

September 10, 1965, V.292-93

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