Merton-Silliman-Munich-An Eye for An Eye
Yesterday was Christmas day and today a free day so I have some time to read and to
think. Just when I decide I am not going to read Ron Silliman's Blog again he pulls me back in like a drunk to the Bourbon.
I always have this overwhelming feeling when I read Ron's Blog that I am listening to my Mother lecturing me-- Ron is about her age with the same kind of sense- and then he intrigues me.
He mentioned a new book of correspondence between Thomas Merton and Jonathan Greene. I agree whole heartedly about Merton's exclusion from so many poetic anthologies is so unjustified and I think motiviated by bigotry against Catholics which is rife in poetryland.
I think Merton is one of the great minds on the last half of the 20th century. He was one of the first Catholics to have dialogue with Sufism, Buddhism, Martin Buber, the poetry world, artists and of course he remained within our Catholic tradition- keeping the unbroken line of Catholic intellectual excentrics that began I think with St Paul and went through people as diverse as St Jerome, Cassiodorus, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Gerard Manley Hopkins, St Francis and Dorothy Day, all people that many in our current Church would rather not remember ...like they were some sort of shamed drunk uncle.
Merton has always been a lodestar for me- I read the Seven Storey Mountain as a 17 year old College Freshman and fell in love with him and his books. Merton was an intellectual, a Catholic, a Mystic, a poet and a great questioner all things something that I aspire and aspired to. Merton was and is the essential link between us and so many others of good will. I wish many poets and anthologists could get around their inbread prejudice against religious people and Catholics and see this man for what is was. I wish many Catholics so quick to run back to bigotry would listen to what he said... Merton was a great Monk and a great Poet and a person of deep strength.
Munich- I went to see Steven Spielberg's Munich today- to say it is wrenching is so say an understatement. We exist today I think amid a field of lies. I wish that our president would simply be honest and say that freedoms need to be curtailed and here is the reason why.... but no one is interested in listening and being honest. We all have to pretend and pretending is pretense. the great canard is that violence does not work. the truth is that I can list here the times that non violence worked; South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King/ Civil Rights, Mohandas Gandhi in India, but so many other solutions have been violent and no one wishes to remember them we ignore the blood on our hands and judge others.
An Eye for an Eye makes the whole world blind-Mahatma Gandhi