|Attempting to capture the evening sun, whose genuine beauty eludes the camera.|
The subtle scent of country pine can never truly be captured, as well.
Spending time in the country among pine trees, pale green fields and the magical dimming of the December sun – with sleep alternating between ghostly dreams in a deep slumber and abstract introspection during insomnia –moments of solitude bring a treasured mix of quietude and discomfort. Not a disturbing kind of discomfort...but the kind that brings me closer to myself: who I have been, presently am, and all I can be – all at once, sans soucis. An achievement realised without striving, that also slowly depletes me of the need to defend my ego to others; an accomplishment within without. This solitude is not in the midst of silence, but I can hear the silence nonetheless.
All possibilities are contained in silence. All mysteries reveal themselves in an unspoken feeling of simultaneous connectedness and detachment to all. The sun shines across the evening land, and in the morning everything and everyone looks anew – somehow strange yet beautiful – overwhelming all concerns of life and prior perceptions.
"The basic and most fundamental problem of the spiritual life is this acceptance of our hidden and dark self, with which we tend to identify all the evil that is in us. We must learn by discernment to separate the evil growth of our actions from the good ground of the soul. And we must prepare that ground so that a new life can grow up from it within us, beyond our knowledge and beyond our conscious control. The sacred attitude is, then, one of reverence, awe and silence before the mystery that begins to take place within us when we become aware of our innermost self. In silence, hope, expectation, and unknowing, the man of faith abandons himself to the divine will: not as an arbitrary and magic power whose decrees must be spelled out from cryptic ciphers, but as to the stream of reality and life itself. The sacred attitude is, then, one of deep and fundamental respect for the real in whatever new form it may present itself."
- Thomas Merton, The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation.
"Do not be bewildered by the surfaces; in the depths all becomes law. And those who live the secret wrong and badly (and they are very many), lose it only for themselves and still hand it on, like a sealed letter, without knowing it."
- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
"In the last analysis what I am looking for in solitude is not happiness or fulfilment but salvation. Not "my own salvation" but the salvation of everybody."
- Thomas Merton, Learning to Love