Coming down from the mountains into Reno, the ground drops away so suddenly at times, I wonder what canyons may lie underfoot. Biding their time for another ice age, another eon of erosion, the grand canyons of Minnesota wait to be born.  

21:31:58 PM

More Merton…

I did not have the humility to care nothing about what people thought or said.

I have been so wrong for so long. I always thought “being yourself” required egotism – an outward strength, but that sort of strength is not sustainable. It consumes energy. It resists the flow instead of redirecting it. Humility – selflessness – is the path to the self.  

10:37:14 AM

I am reading The Seven Storey Mountain
, by Thomas Merton – a loan from my grandmother-by-marriage, Doris, whom I’ve come to love as much as my own. I recently became Catholic (long story), and she has seen something in my becoming that reminds her of Merton.

Merton eventually became a Trappist monk, though I haven’t yet gotten that far in his story. Whether or not I see my own development in religious terms, I never tire of seeing someone else find his/her way. He says…

It is a great pleasure for me to remember such good and kind people and to talk about them, although I no longer possess any details about them. I just remember their kindness and goodness to me, and their peacefulness and utter simplicity. They inspired real reverence, and I think, in a way, they were certainly saints. And they were saints in that most effective and telling way, sanctified by leading ordinary lives in a completely supernatural manner, sanctified by obscurity, by usual skills, by common tasks, by routine, but skills, tasks, routine which received a supernatural form from grace within…

Such unexpected saints are a gift. Their peace is contagious. They lead by example, but they cannot – should not – be followed, because their peace is individual. Instead, cultivate it where you find it, in yourself and in others.