Going up in smoke

The soul that projects itself entirely into activity, and seeks itself outside itself in the work of its own will is like a madman who sleeps on the sidewalk in front of his house instead of living inside where it is quiet and warm. The soul that throws itself outdoors in order to find itself in the effects of its own work is like a fire that has no desire to burn but seeks only to go up in smoke.

Thomas Merton

Small Mind & I

I have a small mind.
It is accustomed to working with concepts, 
to solving and fixing. 
It is satisfied with its questions, 
and proud of its answers. 

It becomes uncomfortable 
when placed in a container of silence. 
It perceives the possibility of demotion, 
and begins to fuss and fidget.
It shows itself to be an insecure child, 
the amnesiac offspring of 
a secular world. 

In defence of my small mind, 
and to give it its due,  
it has generated much beauty,
sculpted words, crafted sounds, refined spaces. 
It ensures that I have cleaned my teeth and paid the bills. 
I am glad of its companionship,
and grateful for its service. 

After much strife, 
we have reached a conclusion:  
we are on the same team, 
my small mind and I.

So now, engaged in the patient art 
of not-expecting,  
we sit together in quietness, 
without activity or movement, 
and slowly learn 
what we were not taught.

We meet ourselves
as we are:
a singular lens, 
an awareness, 
an emptying vessel
opening itself to the 
breath of creation.