WHAT IS SERIOUS TO MEN is often very trivial in the sight of God.  What in God might appear to us as “play” is perhaps what God takes the most seriously.  At any rate the Lord plays in the garden of creation, and if we could let go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear God’s call and follow in the mysterious, cosmic dance.  We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of that game, and of that dancing.  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, provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.

For the world and time are the dance of the Lord in emptiness.  The silence of the spheres is the music of a wedding feast.  The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life, the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness, absurdity, and despair.  But it does not matter much, because no despair of ours can alter the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is always there.  Indeed, we are in the midst of it, and it is in the midst of us, for it beats in our very blood, whether we want it or not.” – Thomas Merton


One thought on “STARRY NIGHT

  1. Thank you for this entry. I have been struggling with “rawness and whininess” in an abundantly wonderful stage in my life (all be it with tension of change and tension of life not working out according to my plan). I couldn’t understand the disconnect between my gratitude for what I was experiencing and my emotional rawness, whininess. Ummm.. this is a long way of saying thank you. This excerpt from Merton Hit the Spot.

    I use dance to celebrate moments in my life. (I am not a dancer by trade, I am a judge. I make my staff dance in the office, and my sons dance in the kitchen) I now realize that what I had forgotten is that there IS a cosmic beat in my heart, and at all times there is a hand placed out, asking for my hand, asking me to…. simply dance.

    Thank you.

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