Wednesday, February 08, 2006

battle wounds.

merton said this to me today,
This is simply the voice of a self questioning human person who, like all his brothers, struggles to cope with turbulent, mysterious, demanding, exciting, frustrating, confused existence in which almost nothing is really predictable, in which most definitions, explanations and justifications become incredible even before they are uttered, in which people suffer together and are sometimes utterly beautiful, at other times impossibly pathetic. In which there is much that is frightening, in which almost everything public is patently phony, and in which there is at the same time an immense ground of personal authenticity that is right there so obvious that no one can talk about it and most cannot believe that it is there.

these words have utterly sealed the fate of modern writers (with very few exceptions). i cannot find this kind of reckoning with truth today. though i search and hunger and long and pine for it. it eludes me. but here, merton speaks honey and fatness to my soul. and i am so hungry. famished.

have you ever wanted to say so many things but all that comes out is vanity? all that you can utter are ums and ohs, sighs, and well, um, you know.

i have so longed to speak and find myself now in this place without words. because my words have also been my unwitting weapons. and i would still them now before they fell another giant.

i am finding this place of utter honesty to be, even for me, beyond comfort. i am wholly out of bounds and need to simply be silent.

a friend called today and asked if i need help. she will come tomorrow and i will say, tell me of all you have experienced. you see, she has just returned from the mountain, denver, to be exact. and i will let her words speak for both of us. i will let her joy be enough to keep me at peace while i work. i will let her help me through tomorrow.

merton talks about being humanly sterile (of course in the monastic setting), but i can claim none of that. i was thinking, what would i liken myself to? perhaps one of those old time battle field surgery tents, blood and limbs everywhere. it was a mess, perhaps doing more damage than good, but none knew any better then.

when i know better, i shall do better.

but it will not be in isolation from the tangles of relating.

and it will not be without wounds. i bear them myself. and wish i didn't inflict them so.

a poem i wrote today, and hopefully i won't be compelled to share any more:

The weight
___of my doubt
could crush
Yet you tried
___to stay
the rush
___and washed
away, battered
___by the torrent
You cannot
___save me
from myself
___to whom I'm
captive, bound.
___You cannot
stay the tide
___of fears
only drown.

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