Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Year With Thomas Merton - May 15

When Everything Is Wet

Nothing can spoil this morning. The rain has stopped. The birds sing and starlings pursue a crow across the grey sky. Clouds still hang low over the woods. It's cool.

The whiskey barrels by the woodshed stand or lie in wetness, one of them with wet weeds up the navel, others rolling in the smoked chips of wood and bark.

Someone has sawed a keg in half, and it is one of the most beautiful objects on the property at the moment. An example of wabi-sabi (simplicity) that Suzuki talks about. With joy, yesterday, I smelled the charred barrel. How beautiful to see it catch rain.

Yesterday I was bitter for a while, growling to myself. "Yes, we have the Holy Ghost all right--in a cage with His wings clipped." But later, during the Gospel, the "Let not your heart be disturbed" came through into my heart as if especially directed to me and I remembered there was no need to be bitter or to worry, or even to notice what appears to me to be senseless in our life here.

I do not have to react. It is useless. There are much better things to do. And to react is to become implicated--to become a prisoner of the same nonsense that I am compelled to condemn. Do not be compelled.

Here comes a small, shining rabbit. A kingbird gurgles and chortles in the cedars. Everything is wet.

May 18, 1959, III.281-82

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