Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nobody Started It, Nobody Is Going To Stop It

I came up here from the monastery last night, sloshing through the cornfield, said Vespers, and put some oatmeal on the Coleman stove for supper. It boiled over while I was listening to the rain and toasting a piece of bread at the log fire. The night became very dark. The rain surrounded the whole cabin with its enormous virginal myth, a whole world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor. Think of it: all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody, drenching the thick mulch of dead leaves, soaking the trees, filling the gullies and crannies of the wood with water, washing out the places where men have stripped the hillside! What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, unintelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges, and the talk of the watercourses everywhere in the hollows!

Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen. But I am also going to sleep, because here in this wilderness I have learned how to sleep again. Here I am not alien. The trees I know, the night I know, the rain I know. I close my eyes and instantly sink into the whole rainy world of which I am a part, and the world goes on with me in it, for I am not alien to it…

—Thomas Merton, from the essay, "The Rain and the Rhinoceros"

See Heron Dance.


Loren said...

Must have rained up there last night, too?

Rain seems especially comforting in the summer when things have become parched.

I sat at an open window reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

am said...

Yes. The flowers and trees and sky are fresh from the summer rain. These last few days have been a refreshing mixture of rain and sunshine.

Still feeling positive effects from re-reading ZEN AND THE ....

I look forward to the discussion on your blog.

Now I am seeing a connection between Robert Pirsig and Thomas Merton, both highly attuned to the voice of the natural world. The "metaphysics of quality" again.