This past weekend I went up to Shaw Island with my daughter to attend a
memorial service for one of her former schoolmates, a 20 year old boy who
died three weeks ago of an aneurysm.
It was lovely to be back on the island, despite the circumstances; lovely to
spend time with my daughter, and heartening to spend an evening with Teddy’s
mother, who was a dear friend back in the days when we all lived on that
little island. It was good to hear who Teddy had become; to hear how their
lives have been going and what his mother’s plans are for the future.
Teddy’s mother is an amazing and admirable woman, a minister in the Church
of Religious Science, and now that her girls are in college she is turning
her home into a bed and breakfast for people who come to Seattle for
treatment for chronic illnesses like Lyme Disease (of which she and her
daughter are also sufferers).
I also had a lot of alone time while I was on Shaw, and I spent much of it
reading “Echoing Silence,” a compendium of Thomas Merton’s thoughts on
writing. I am still processing, but his writing was absolutely soul-stirring
for me: I felt I’d found my soulmate, I felt a ton of affirmation for what
I’ve been encountering along the way, and I can see I still have a great
deal to learn on this path. So I thought I’d share this quote from Merton
today: it explains better than I ever could why it is that blogging has come
to mean so much to me. Thank you — by the way — for continuing to be
“Writing,” says Merton, “is the one thing that gives me access to some real
silence and solitude. Also I find that it helps me to pray because, when I
pause at my work, I find that the mirror inside me is surprisingly clean and
deep and serene and God shines there and is immediately found, without
hunting, as if He had come close to me while I was writing, and I had not
observed his coming.”
Text: Diane Walker, from her blog, Contemplative Photography.
Quote: Thomas Merton, from Echoing Silence, available here in Google Reader..
Image from “A Contemplative Alphabet” by Diane Walker, available through Blurb.
Diane Walker is Exhibitions Director of Episcopal Church and Visual Arts and a contributing artist to The Ubuntu Reredos.