We don’t teach meditation to the young monks. They are not ready for it until they stop slamming doors. — Thich Nhat Hanh to Thomas Merton in 1966
Evening – Chama River
Love means to learn to look at yourself The way one looks at distant things
– Czelslaw Milosz
Pulling back the blankets tonight
I found a small cricket
quiet and shy
hiding under my pillow.
Oh, I know better.
Like me, though, it seemed alone
and in need of a companion
to get through the dark alive.
So, I’ll awaken before dawn
and give thanks if we’re still here
like the moths that flew to the light just now
when I opened the door to check for rain.
The devil’s secret is camouflage. The devil’s job is to look very moral! It has to look like you are defending some great purpose or cause, like making the world safe for democ racy or keeping the bad people off the streets. Then you can do many evils without any guilt, without any shame or self-doubt, but actually with a sense of high-minded virtue. Thomas Aquinas writes that evil must disguise itself as good and, until Christians start understanding that, their capac ity for “discernment of spirits” (1 Corinthians 12:10) remains very minimal. They are easily duped and always misled by such devils.
– Richard Rohr
Your move. http://www.holeintheheadreview.com
“I don’t think it is enough appreciated how much an outdoor book the Bible is. It is a ‘hypaethral book,’ such as Thoreau talked about – a book open to the sky. It is best read and understood outdoors, and the farther outdoors the better. Or that has been my experience of it. Passages that within walls seem improbable or incredible, outdoors seem merely natural. This is because outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary but the common mode of existence. It is our daily bread. Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field or the birds of the air and pondered the improbability of their existence in this warm world within the cold and empty stellar distances will hardly balk at the turning of water into wine – which was, after all, a very small miracle. We forget the greater and still continuing miracle by which water (with soil and sunlight) is turned into grapes,” – Wendell Berry, “Christianity and the Survival of Creation” in Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community
There is greater comfort in the substance of silence than in the answer to a question. Eternity is in the present. Eternity is in the palm of the hand. Eternity is a seed of fire whose sudden roots break barriers that keep my heart from being an abyss.
– Thomas Merton, journal entry – 7/4/52
“Leaping Novice,” photography by Janet Powers from issue 3 of Hole In The Head Review, coming Saturday 08.01.2020
Fun I love, but too much fun is of all things the most loathsome. Mirth is better than fun, and happiness is better than mirth. I feel that a man may be happy in this world. And I know that this world is a world of imagination and vision. I see every thing I paint in this world, but everybody does not see alike. To the eyes of a miser a guinea is far more beautiful than the Sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity, and by these I shall not regulate my proportions; and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. As a man is, so he sees. – William Blake
For my friend Joe – who died on this day in 2000. I miss you every day.
On the Feast of St. James the Greater
(for Joe C.)
This is where
he would have fished
him in the dark
light he loses
all balance and
muffling the dry
what we heard
is in the mist
we’ll never take