What Can Be Our Response?

Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand.
It is wide open. The sword is taken away,
but we do not know it. I am present
without knowing it at all, in this unspeakable paradise, and I behold this secret, this wide open secret which is there for everyone, free.
– Thomas Merton 
Thank you, Thomas Merton, for your words, and thank you to my friend Linda for sharing them on Facebook this morning to usher in 2017.  

Perhaps this is what all angst and anxiety stem from: we are present in unspeakable paradise without knowing it, even while we search for it high and low, with desperation and urgency.  We are searching for that paradise with every resolution, every firm decision to be better, do better, love better.  Paradise is all around us: why don't we see it?  Why aren't we aware of every moment we are living in it?  Why don't we know it?

That existential crisis will be even more palpable in this, our beloved country, as we watch Donald J. Trump assume the mantle of leadership and tweet his strange brand of narcissism and megalomania into the world.  

What can be our response, not only to Trump but to the slings and arrows of daily, difficult, wrenching life?  We must see, enjoy, create, share and demand beauty.  We must make something beautiful and put it out into the world.  We must light that small candle in the darkness.  We must.  It is essential.  It is all that matters.  

Write.  Make music.  Paint.  Draw.  Grow things.  Tend to animals.  Read.  Cook.  Teach.  Design.  Push.  Resistance takes a million forms, so pick the one that fits you like a warm and loving sweater, but pick one or you will spend your time in this paradise feeling cold and shackled.  Pick one, so that you can begin to see the paradise all around you.  Pick one: it is there for you, for everyone, free.

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Comments

Nice to hear from you! Do catch us up on what's happening, when you have a chance!
Lara Wright said…
Thank you, Mon(ica). I just saw this post, 3/23/17. Your words are wise and eloquent. And...I have a practical question for you: do your posts arise spontaneously, ready to be sent out; is there an editing process; or does it depend on the post?

In any case, I truly enjoy them.

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