Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Year With Thomas Merton - December 17

In the Company of Friends

Bob Lax's circus book--Circus of the Sun--is a tremendous poem, an Isaias-like prophecy that has a quality you just don't find in poetry today. A completely unique simplicity and purity of love that is not afraid to express itself. The circus as symbol and sacrament, cosmos, and church--the mystery of the primitive world, of paradise in which men have wonderful and happy skills, which they exercise freely as at play. Also a sacrament of the eschaton--the last things--our heavenly Jerusalem. The importance of human love in the circus--for doing things well. It is one of the few poems that has anything whatever to say. I want to write an article about it.

Victor and Carolyn Hammer came over yesterday. We ate sandwiches in the jeep, in a sunny field near the shallow lake, drank coffee, ate apples and ginger. I lost a filling from a tooth. He came back to see the chapel--I have hopes that he will make a tabernacle for us and candlesticks. He looked at the chapel without inspiration, and said, "This is an awful place." A prophetic utterance, quite unlike the words of Jacob used as Introit for the Feast of the Dedication of a Church. But he offered to lend us one of his painted crucifixes--one of those he did for Kolbsheim.

He gave me one of his little Japanese knives. I cleaned up the room in its honor.

Went out alone to get three large trees and a small one in the wasteland along by Andy Boone's.

A sunny, happy day, yesterday.


  1. And in the beginning was love. Love made a sphere:
    all things grew within it; the sphere then encompassed
    beginnings and endings, beginning and end. Love
    had a compass whose whirling dance traced out a
    sphere of love in the void: in the center thereof
    rose a fountain.

    Robert Lax

  2. "...quite unlike the words of Jacob..." I expect he is referring to, "Surely God is in this place and I did not know it!" Gen. 28:16 // Likewise, so it was down at the lake that day.

  3. Love is all I can understand, and that only feebly. The old crone seeks Peace. Please pray for her!