Sunday, January 30, 2011

the fall



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There is no where in you a paradise that is no place and there
You do not enter except without a story.
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To enter there is to become unnameable.
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Whoever is nowhere is nobody, and therefore cannot exist except as unborn:
No disguise will avail him anything
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Such a one is neither lost nor found.
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But he who has an address is lost.
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They fall, they fall into apartments and are securely established!
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They find themselves in streets. They are licensed
To proceed from place to place
They now know their own names
They can name several friends and know
Their own telephones must some time ring.
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If all telephones ring at once, if all names are shouted at once and all cars crash at one crossing:
If all cities explode and fly away in dust
Yet identities refuse to be lost. There is a name and a number for everyone.
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There is a definite place for bodies, there are pigeon holes for ashes:
Such security can business buy!
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Who would dare to go nameless in so secure a universe?
Yet, to tell the truth, only the nameless are at home in it.
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They bear with them in the center of nowhere the unborn flower of nothing:
This is the paradise tree. It must remain unseen until words end and arguments are silent.

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~ Thomas Merton
from The Selected Poems of Thomas Merton


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