This flower, this light, this moment, this silence:
Dominus est. Eternity.
(God) passes. (God) remains.
We pass. In and out. (God ) passes. We remain.
We are nothing. We are everything.
(God) is in us. (God) is gone from us.
(God) is not here. We are here in God.
The flower is itself. The light is itself. The silence is itself.
I am myself.
Merton – Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander
Always bittersweet to leave Kenya; excited for the trip home to see friends and family but am always so sad to say goodbye here. Nothing is promised and who knows when I can return. I hope that I can fly back in a couple of months but who really knows.
Fred (Masai friend) gets married in December. I would want to be back here for my young friend. Benson has another semester after this and then – who knows where he will go – hopefully off to a great career. Nothing is for certain and that is good enough for me these days.
I came to Kenya looking to become more spiritual and am finding that I am not very spiritual at all. I found myself in a monk-like situation. I got up at dawn, could create a timetable for prayer, work, reading . . . . all good stuff on a journey to get more spiritual. I am not. But I do feel more alive, more human. This place – Kenya and Athi River – is loaded with death and danger, brutality and poverty but each morning I am greeted by Life, so big, so real and so human. I am more myself here than anywhere.
“…In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be, and in order to find myself I must go out of myself, and in order to live I have to die.
The reason for this is that I was born in selfishness and therefore my natural efforts to make myself more real and more myself, make me less real and less myself, because they revolve around a lie.
People who know nothing of God and whose lives are centred on themselves, imagine that they can only find themselves by asserting their own desires and ambitions and appetites in a struggle with the rest of the world [and others]. They try to become real by imposing themselves on other people, by appropriating for themselves some share of the limited supply of created goods and thus emphasising the difference between themselves and other [people] who have less than them, or nothing at all.
They can only conceive one way of becoming real: cutting themselves off from other people and building a barrier of contrast and distinction between themselves and other [people]…”
Merton – Seeds and New Seeds of Contemplation