stating the obvious/be something

Be something

Please pray for me to Our Lord that, instead of merely writing something, I may be something, and indeed that I may so fully be what I ought to be that there may be no further necessity for me to write, since the mere fact of being what I ought to be would be more eloquent than many books.

Thomas Merton
Dialogues with Silence

I haven’t written in a while, not because I haven’t wanted to–I took a break. Waited, explored, watched, and took in the world around me as things were changing. The smells outside are changing. From hot, clear air-to the cold, damp, musty smells of fall.  I watched as one spider web turned to many spider webs, watched as they grew bigger and bigger, more intricate, and began to catch dew in the morning fog.

I baked bread. Unknowingly, I used yeast that had expired… the bread wasn’t very good. It resembled white play-doh…

I read a few books–ok, I started reading 4 or 5 books, got half way through them, decided I wanted to start another… and another…

I sat in the middle of difficult conversations. I initiated difficult conversations.  I wrestled with my own dragons, and I stood by cheering as other dragons were fought.

I went for car rides with people. We talked. Sometimes about sensing the spirituality in another person, sometimes about realizing something in front of you, and having the courage and presence of mind to state the obvious.

I met my ‘obvious’.  I think it’s been around for awhile.  But, I didn’t talk to it.  It was as if I were at a party, and recognized an old acquaintance from across the room… but wasn’t sure if they remembered me.  Of course, I am not  the kind of person to walk up and say “hello” first, it takes a while.  So, together you dance around the food table, kindly hand the other a cup to drink, or smile politely…

Eventually, one of you turns to the other, half-embarrassed… I think I know you, or used to know you. It’s not exactly easy, or comfortable, and there might not be a lot to tell of after the encounter–but it happens.

It scares me to think there might be something of more necessity than writing. But, maybe in drowning myself in words and paper and Bic pens, I have shut out my “obvious” that I should have met long ago.  Maybe in hiding behind a screen or a keyboard, or a notebook, I have made too many other lists and overlooked something great that needing tending to.

However… in stating my obvious I am realizing it is nothing great.  I saw no fireworks, no burning bush, no lightning bolt from the heavens… I did not fight or wrestle with God and walk away with a limp, I did not fast or spend days and hours in tearful prayers… and for me, I think if I would have had those things… the experience would not have been as real, as meaningful, or as true.

So, I am learning to state the obvious. I am learning to embrace the thought of being something, and not just writing about something. But I will still probably hide behind screens and notebooks and would rather fight more with pens and paper than with people.  But, still, I am learning, and maybe in some weird way, that learning will be more eloquent than any book I could write…maybe.


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