Monday, October 3, 2011
A Year With Thomas Merton - October 2
Dialogue in the Kingdom of God
Two letters have arrived from Pasternak. My letter and "Prometheus" got through to him and apparently quite easily. He commented on "Prometheus," saying that he liked especially section IV and VII, and that the last had some "fine individual Christosophic touches." I was very pleased. Will write to him again. He keeps insisting that his early work is "worthless." His heart is evidently in Doctor Zhivago, to which he does not refer by the full name. Only as "Dr Zh" or "the book published by Pantheon."
Talking to Frater Lawrence about it, I remarked on the strange and marvelous fact of this apparently easy and natural communication between a monk in a strictly guarded Trappist monastery and a suspect poet behind the Iron Curtain. I am in closer contact with Pasternak than I am with people in Louisville or Bardstown or even in my own monastery--and have more in common with him.
And all this while our two countries, deeply hostile to one another, have nothing to communicate between themselves--and yet spend millions trying to communicate with the moon!
The simple and human dialogue with Pasternak and a few others like him is to me worth thousands of sermons and radio speeches. It is to me the true Kingdom of God, which is still so clearly, and evidently, "in the midst of us."
October 18, 1958, III.224