Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Year With Thomas Merton - February 29

A Bleak Extra Day

Bleak leap-year extra day. Black, with a few snowflakes, like yesterday when no snow stayed on the ground but there was sleet and the rain-buckets nearly filled. All the grass is white with, not snow, death.

A magazine in English--in Burma or somewhere (India?)--has an article by a Buddhist laywoman of her practice of meditation--emphasizing mindfulness of suffering in its existential reality, not escaping into ecstasy, etc. On one of the pages with this article, the following advertisement:

If you use Balm
use only the strongest Balm
de Songa's Dali Brand
BURMA BALM (picture of jar--radiating light)
So powerful yet only K1 a jar
Relieves all pain--and quickly!
From de Songa's of course.

Though it is still cold (with a bitterly biting wind) there were a few moments this afternoon when the coming of spring might almost be credible--perhaps because I so desire it after this cold winter. Out in St. Bernard's field, just as the clock was striking two, the sound of the bells came clear in a lull of the wind, and, with the wind down, the sun was suddenly warm. Fern-like walnut trees in the hollow stood as if ready for summer, and I looked at the distant valley and at the slight haze in the sky. Perhaps warm weather will once again be possible.

February 24, 25, & 29, 1968, VII.57-58, 60