Saturday, February 06, 2016

Orange juice and ice cream

New mantra from woman 
in hospital room:
Shut up,
And pray

Friday, February 05, 2016


Someone leaves for France tomorrow.

There is no someone. There is no France.

There is only the leaving and arriving.

Everything we think things are, nothing comes close.

Is intelligence and love that which completely surrounds us? And if we are present and attentive -- are we that?

   (by Charles Olson)

(down to my soul:

assume your nature as yourself
for the love of God

not even good enough

the possibility
of discrete

There is no intelligence 
the equal of
the situation

There are only
two ways:
create the situation
(and this is love)
or avoid it.
This also can be


(—pp.299,300, The Collected Poems of Charles Olson: Excluding the Maximus Poems, c.1987, by Charles Olson, 1910-1970)

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Odd weather

snow, they say
   at daybreak -- half
       foot  -- 45 degrees now

Wednesday, February 03, 2016


Drive through snow
Freezing rain, sleet, dark roads
Headlights blinding --
Yet here in bed
Safe -- no explanation

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

是 Shì

waking alone, no one
asks, "where is God?"
who is alone waking

Monday, February 01, 2016

solo dios

I have long considered God in silence. Which, I suspect, God mostly is.
The Tractatus consists of seven numbered propositions, with more or less extensive commentary – or rather, of six propositions with commentary and one without. The best-known of the seven propositions are the first and the last:
1. Die Welt ist alles, was der Fall ist. (“The world is everything, that happens to be the case.”)
7. Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen. (“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.”)
(--from, Tractatus 7.1: Translation and Silence, by Peter Caws, in Philosophy Now) 
 I have long considered my odd life as that of a monk’s, a monastic exclaustration of sorts, with only an invisible habit of interiority
Contemplative prayer is, in a way, simply the preference for the desert, for emptiness, for poverty. One has begun to know the meaning of contemplation when he intuitively and spontaneously seeks the dark and unknown path of aridity in preference to every other way. 
(from The Climate of Monastic Prayer, by Thomas Merton) 
We are infants in the realm of God -- “infant,” from the Latin “infans” meaning “not able to speak.”
To the visitor or newcomer a day in the monastery may appear to have a seamless, uncluttered beauty and perfect orderliness. The monastery is beautiful and our day has a rhythm and formality. As monks we know that as we seek to be faithful in work, in prayer and in fraternal relationship, we very often arrive at a place of vulnerability born of a somewhat bitter self-knowledge. We learn that the monastic life is not about our achievement but about our readiness to make our weakness available to the mercy of God. Perhaps this is our most important work- to realize that we are in desperate need of this mercy. At best we become accustomed to letting things fall apart, noticing the fragmentation that is inevitable, unavoidable and ready to welcome it as opportunity. In the end the harmony and integrity that we seek as monks can be ours because God desires to transform all that is fractured and broken in us into something whole and beautiful. 
(--by a monk, St Joseph Abbey, 7Feb2012)  
There is no reason to go anywhere to be a monastic. The monastery of everydayness has no boundaries, walls, claustration, or barriers. Its patron saint may well be Benedict Joseph Labre. 

We are strangers in our own house.
If you are willing to bear in peace the trial of not being pleased with yourself, you will be offering the Lord Jesus a home in your heart. It is true you will suffer,  for you will feel like a stranger in your own house. But do not fear,  for the poorer you are, the more Christ will love you.
(--Saint Thérèse of Lisieux)
Unrecognized, mostly incognito, nearly transparent, the environment itself with nothing extraneous.

Then we die.

(So it seems.)
Trappist burial.
 And earth becomes us, as we do it.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday, (a) musing

Are things looking up, Robert?

Merton words, Franciscan image; perfect for Louie!

Two trappists

I learn today a friend died three days ago:
January 28, 2016: Father Robert Morhous was born in 1932 in Albany, New York (USA). He entered Spencer in 1954, made his solemn profession in 1959 and was also ordained a priest in 1959. Father was 83 years old, had been in monastic vows for 59 years and 56 years a priest when the Lord called him.
(image from Upaya Zen Center, Santa Fe NM)
Another mentor, Thomas Merton (amicus in spiritu) who was a Trappist was born 101 years ago today:
We stumble and fall constantly even when we are most enlightened. But when we are in true spiritual darkness, we do not even know that we have fallen.
(-- Thomas Merton)
“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.”
(― Thomas Merton, Love and Living )
The koan Fr. Robert gave me sitting together a decade ago at the monastery where he lived has become a mantra, “Cheer up, Bill, things are only going to get worse.”

His was the first zafu I ever sat on in his retreat master’s office in early 1970s -- (“Be careful, there’s a lot of electricity still in there!")

Such cheer today!
(image from St Joseph Abbey, Spencer MA)