Times, moods and one good place

It is essential to experience all the times and moods of one good place.
Thomas Merton


One page among many good ones in Esther de Waal's 'A Seven Day journey with Thomas Merton' has accompanied with me for a number of years now.  It is one amongst only a handful that rises above the memory fog bank. I find myself returning to it and it has guided my decisions and my searches.  This photograph, by Merton of himself, in his hermitage in Kentucky is all that is on the page apart from this quote:

It is essential to experience all the times and moods of one good place.

Merton looks at peace albeit in an uncomfortable looking basic setting.  The heavy jacket and large boots suggest readiness and preparedness.  There is winter, there is autumn, as well as spring and summer too.

Pleased to be here

Being imbedded in one small place reflects back to me a desire to know that God penetrates and is comfortable with ordinary, daily experience.  If the fabric of a day, of human existence, is not essentially blessed then incarnation seems hollow and thin.  Did the man who underlined the fusion of earth and heaven drag his heels through dusty Palestine, seem reluctant and distracted, constantly desiring to be somewhere else?  Advent reminds me and affirms that skin and bones, thought, action, dreams, root and twig, do minutely matter.

It is enough to be, in an ordinary human mode, with one’s hunger and sleep, one’s cold and warmth, rising and going to bed. Putting on blankets and taking them off, making coffee and then drinking it. Defrosting the refrigerator, reading, meditating, working, praying. Thomas Merton

Andrew Hook

*which I gather the Eastern Orthodox church regards as our salvation, enveloping the cross and resurrection