Nature has many tricks wherewith she convinces man of his infinity, – the ceaseless flow of the tides, the fury of storm, the shock of the earthquake, the long roll of heavens artillery, – but the most tremendous, the most stupefying of all, is the passive phase of the White Silence. All movement ceases, the sky clears, the heavens are as brass; the slightest whisper seems sacrilege, and man becomes timid, affrighted at the sound of his own voice. Sole speck of life journeying across the ghostly wastes of a dead world, he trembles at his audacity, realizes that his is a maggots life, nothing more. Strange thoughts arise unsummoned, and the mystery of all things strives for utterance. And the fear of death, of God, of the universe, comes over him, – the hope of the Resurrection and the life, the yearning for immortality, the vain striving of the imprisoned essence, – it is then, if ever, man walks alone with God….Jack London
the magical and frightening night turns to day, and what are we to make of the turn of the soul?…..can we feel our underlying unity in the cool dawn breeze?…..as our compassion deepens, so does our capacity to witness a new kind of mercy for paradox……let us wear warm socks, wake slowly, and welcome whatever fears we can hold….
When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash – at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the ‘newness,’ the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance…..Thomas Merton
At dawn Henry picked up his stick.
It wasn’t too short or too long.
It wasn’t too thick or too thin.
Like the wilderness, it was the way it should be.
Henry looked out over the world.
And then descended into the rising mist.