F is for Fear

Fear narrows the little entrance of our heart.
It shrinks up our capacity to love.
It freezes up our power to give ourselves.

Thomas Merton, Seasons of Celebration

At the root of all war is fear.

Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

… and fear is a color. As soon as it touches our liberty, it stains it and renders it unlike to itself.

Thomas Merton, quoting St. Bernard in The Silent Life

Photo by Sam Zaengle

A is for Advent

In Seasons of Celebration, Thomas Merton reflects on the writings of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. Saint Bernard spoke of three advents of Christ.

The first advent is “that in which He comes to seek and to save the lost.”

The third advent is “that in which He comes to takes us to Himself.”

The second advent, the one which I’ve been thinking on ever since reading about it, is the present advent which “is taking place at every moment of our own earthly life as wayfarers.”

Thomas Merton said, referring to the second advent, the one between the first and third,

To meditate on these two Advents

is to sleep between the arms of God

with His left hand under our head

and His right hand embracing us. 

It is also to sleep ‘between the lots’ —

that is to say to

‘live at peace in the midst of our inheritance’.

Bud snuggling with Laurel.

A New Slider

A hole in the house

Taking out the door totally opened up the room.

Over the years, the room slowly become the repository for everything. I mean, the attic was pretty full and the stuff had to go somewhere. This is an American problem.

When we hoed the room out at Christmas — when the feng shui (Frank Schwa) was all wrong — we discovered that the slider no longer closed properly and was, in fact, warped. The bleak midwinter is not the proper time to change out a slider. It’s the time to keep the door shut and locked. And the 40 year draperies mostly drawn shut — because, if we’re going to be closed up and closed in, we might as well go for broke.

A Christmas tree in front of the slider (and draperies) years ago

But when the workmen took the old slider out last week, we had a whole new room.

The draperies, or what was left of them (they had somewhat disintegrated when Bud took them down), went straight to the trash.

Now the sun pours in.

I’m tempted not to replace the drapes, at least not during the summer.

This morning, I sat in the room with a whole new feng shui. Sunny. Bright. Inviting.

A doe and her fawn nibbled grass outside the window. I wished I had washed the windows or not had the screen in.

Instagram should make such filters — just to keep things realistic.

Dirty window distortion

Screen distortion

Still, Frank Schwa would be happy with the room.


Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is …

Some of the top Google responses for that are:

… a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work, or experiences a creative slowdown. (Wikipedia)

…. a myth. (https://janefriedman.com/reasons-for-writers-block/)

…often caused by conflicted feelings. (www.cws.illinois.edu/workshop/writers/tips/writersblock/)

…simply a minor speed bump that you can overcome easily and stay in the creative flow. (http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/7-ways-to-overcome-writers-block)

…your secret weapon to becoming a better and more resilient writer. (www.copyblogger.com/use-writers-block/)

So, for good or for bad, I’m putting out a post today.

I used today’s prompt: final

Which sounds so very, um, final.

How about last? Can I do last?

Here’s the last picture taken on my phone —

an unedited sunset from the other night.

It won’t be the last

Or the final