Friday, January 4, 2019

to breathe nothing but silence


Minds which are separated pretend to blend in one another's language.
The marriage of souls in concepts is mostly an illusion.

Thoughts which travel outward bring back reports from You from outward things, but a dialogue with You, uttered through the world, always ends by being a dialogue with my own reflection in the stream of time.  With You there is no dialogue, unless You choose a mountain, circle it with cloud and print Your words in fire upon the mind of Moses.

What was delivered to Moses on tablets of stone, as the fruit of lighting and thunder, 
is now more thoroughly born in our souls 
as quietly as the breath of our own being.

from Dialogues with Silence

To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over the land and fills its silences with light.  To pray and work in the morning and to labor in meditation in the evening when night falls upon that land and when the silence fills itself with darkness and with stars.  This is a true and special vocation.  There are few who are willing to belong completely to such silence, to let it soak into their bones, to breathe nothing but silence, to feed on silence, and to turn the very substance of their life into a living and vigilant silence.

Thomas Merton
from Thoughts in Solitude
sketch by the author