an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

. . . . . .


& a year now.


Merton said the most helpful advice he got in the beginning was: Daily. As often as you can. And I thought yeah, make a note of that for someday, and then I put it away, and then JM pulled it out again, "daily, as you can," putting his hands behind his head, sinking in his chair, "and so that's the main thing, whatever you do"-- leaning into his hands, stretching his legs and sandaled feet in front of him--"now what are you giving up that's most charitable?"--asking (in that way he has) the impossible with a levity that says he is asking the impossible. I think I do amuse him. With my little book of St. Ignatius breathing sulfur down my neck. "Are those the scriptures? No." He thumbs through my bent pages, my question marks, notes the press. I explain I'm reading it in sympathy with Michael, the Jesuit, while he's on 30 day retreat. "But it's dark," I say. "Maybe it gets better but the first week plunges you into death and hell." He nods. "We have to be careful what we read: a classic, of course, but perhaps a bit ... extreme. I mean not for everyone at every time." I say something about despair, about needing less of it. "Well, that's how medieval literature often reads. Actually, I know the publisher," he says, smiling, "and he prefers books of darker meditations. Did I send you to Faustina already, yes? Yes. Good." He marks his points on his fingers. "Alms. Some time with the ways. A little adoration. Nothing too regimented. Remember Lent is about charity." I laugh a little through my confession, I can't help it. It is impossible to ask a man who loves love to pursue more hellish considerations. It is hell enough to fail at love.


"and what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?"

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