The grip the present has on me. That is the one thing that has grown most noticeably in the spiritual life – nothing much else has. The rest dims as it should. I am getting older. The reality of now – the unreality of the rest. The unreality of ideas and explanations and formulas. I am. The unreality of all the rest. The pigs shriek. Butterflies dance together against the blue sky at the end of the woodshed. The buzz saw stands outside there, half covered with dirty and tattered canvas. The trees are fresh and green in the sun (more rain yesterday). Small clouds, inexpressibly beautiful and silent and eloquent, over the silent woodlands. What a celebration of light, quietness, and glory! This is my feast, sitting here in the straw!
– Thomas Merton, journal entry – August 25, 1958
(photo: Runaround Pond, Maine – June 2019)