Tuesday, March 27, 2012
A Year With Thomas Merton - March 27
A Preference for the Chant of Frogs
Warmer. Rain in the night. Frogs again. At first the waterhole (four feet long at most) had one frog or two. Now they are a small nation, loud in the night. The innocent nation, chanting blissfully in praise of the spring rain. Last evening I pruned a few little trees--including the beeches I had planted.
Today I have to go down to see Fr. Vernon Robertson, who evidently wants me to get involved in something--and I will try not to. He has been pestering me to come to Louisville to give a talk at Bellarmine College. And this is confirming me in my resolution to keep out of all that.
Almost every day I have to write a letter to someone refusing an invitation to attend a conference, or a workshop, or to give talks on the contemplative life, or poetry, etc. I can see more and more clearly how for me this would be a sheer waste, a Pascalian diversion, participation in a common delusion. (For others, no: they have the grace and mission to go around talking.) For me what matters is silence, meditation--and writing: but writing is secondary. To willingly and deliberately abandon this to go out and talk would be stupidity--for me. And for others, retirement into my kind of solitude wold be equally stupid. They could not do it--and I could do not what they do.
March 16, 1968, VII.68