Sunday, June 3, 2012


The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of contemporary violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence.” Thomas Merton

The posts of May 1 and May 10 may seem disconnected. Sleight of hand and a finger in every pie. Not dissimilar. Our goal may be represented by the Queen of Hearts which, in real life, doesn’t magically appear. Nor is she produced by frenetic shuffling of the deck. She shows up in her time and place, and is preceded by other cards of lesser or greater value as it happens in real life.

A friend called the other morning full of righteous indignation. Someone’s circumstances dealt her a blood-letting blow and my friend rushed into a tirade of what needed to be done. Her passion and ferocity reminded me of the quote from Thomas Merton.

Sleight of hand, the magic pill, the instant solution are the enemies of process. I have come to appreciate the time process demands. It pries our fingers off the situation and gives us space to consider various options. Or, perhaps there is no solution in a timely fashion as we define it. Or perhaps we are not equipped to view the concomitants, quandary and need.

All I know is what I know. And I don’t know much. Seemingly obvious statements but very difficult to live with so much to do, places to go, social media to log onto, etc. Stop the flow of violence with a deep breath and observation of the various greens in nature. A coloration we do nothing to produce. Or just log out and breathe.

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