Night ranges to deep, dips, drips black silence to a cool serenity of contemplation, solitude, desire. And I wait for dawn’s blur. I am no longer asleep. I walk. Stair to stair. For the coming tension and relaxation of muscles moving from bed to kitchen to sofa and back to the dark. This repetition is our becoming. We are human. Stretch, move under the habit of our flesh and bones. Under the steady hum of Your silent approach and indwelling gift. To listen and hum to the silent beyond that rests and rests. I’ve had to become a conundrum to myself. For the right to suffer. And still, it’s night somewhere in the world It will all pass.
We call silently to our purpose. Silent yet aloud: help… help us… be present to us, through us, within us. How have we gotten to this place? Where are we going such that the inside spills over to fill the heart with a rush of overbearing joy? I sit on the floor, face east to the Unknown, and still myself beside the fire. It pops synthetic logs. There is never a perfection of the heart — not yet. But I bend my head toward the ground and inhale the Eternal Flow. And for a breath, or longer, there is the presence of mercy’s potential.
Thomas Merton’s Prayer
An old paperback, dog-eared and worn. I read Thomas Merton at night and in the early dawn hours of the day. Before the children and the wife. But to say I’ve been reading any one particular person is to sit on the edge of my own Ego. I wish to move beyond the Symbolic desire to gloat. How can we approach the Real if we exist through the stained hands of the Symbolic? How would I make Lacan and Merton meditate in the inner chamber? Or, are they here now, always present before me? Do my thoughts bleed wounded ideas of butchered theories? Just rest. Like this. Close eyes and Flow. Be present to the stirring, to the conscious stirring of what aches to move and spin through the vessels. It’s a Triune stun. Not spin. It’s a vibratory presence. Of solitude. Or, of what springs from solitude.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
The Indwelling Solitude
The indwelling solitude. Our lives become roads to carve more roads? With arms outstretched, are we being pulled where we need to go? To the sunset and the apricot. Close your eyes and let the Spirit dwell. Simmer your evening fears and become peace. Become alive. Merton, too, was lost at times. But his trust and faith is more than the paltry words I have to offer. I’m ever reaching to grasp. I still taste the Eucharist on the pin of my memory. Is solitude what I desire? How much of what I desire is, at this present moment, wrecking any future possibility of redemption? Or, is the grace always-already present?
Spit pleasure. A tenor voice floats waves of melody over strings and the warmth of the room. Of this church. An assemblage of stone. There was an evening, a haze of music. We receive the grace of what the original transmitted. Are we not all suffering by how the message of who we are has shifted and mutated by time and people? And what is this…? These words, words, words. I’ve been lost in these cascading compositions since beginning this fragment. A violin. A hum of static. And now, I’ve had to Google Tony Bennett’s Gentle Rain. But this version is a re-interpretation. A faint trace of the original (as I imagine the original) is present. I can’t tell. The fire burns.
“…Desire, a function central to all human experience, is the desire for nothing nameable. And at the same time this desire lies at the origin of every variety of animation. If being were only what it is, there wouldn’t even be room to talk about it. Being comes into existence as an exact function of this lack.”
The Unnameable and Solitude
What is that Unnameable presence that we long for? Listen to the silence of the room. Listen to the sounds that populate the silence, that pop out from the depths of outside your body. Are they inside you? What animates us to live? What abides at the core of our very self? Is is true, as Lacan says, that “Being comes into existence as an exact function of this lack?” What is this lack? How does it manifest in our lives? Can we enter into it? Can we manifest it and make it present within us? I’m called back to Merton who (above) says, “I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.” His is an offering. Let us offer.
In giving our solitude to what lies beyond (or within-beyond), we embrace our lack. Our desire is human. We are those created in the image of lack… And yearn… and yearn. Do you see the road ahead of you? What part of the indwelling solitude is composed of your seeing of the road? Bring it near. Bring your own night to the fruition of purpose. Hold your purpose as a comforting veil. And breathe.
Flow to Oblivion. To the Murmur
Day drips to blue and white flashes. Of voices emerging from the dark. We’ve made the night our own chant of becoming. And we bow our heads to the Flow of all that is and all that is beyond us. Dip your hands into that part of yourself where you are not. And move toward the Whole. Become Flow and love. For that is the night and the day and intertwining of solitude and communion. It is near. It is as far as the farthest star. Yet closer than your own eyes. Yes, it is love. And our lips are a murmur of words, words, words.