Polishing the Mirror


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

willing readers.

“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.

Past Posts