Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I have been repeatedly unable to express the life I live. Externally, what do I do but read and sometimes write, and talk on the phone and sometimes in person? I eat and drink and tend to my simple needs. I shop for food and go to the post office when I need to send packages. I buy books and usually read them. Not much of a life, eh?
Except – all the richness is internal. In my mind as I read those books I live elsewhere and elsewhen – yet it is not (always) escapism, for I am well aware as I do so that I am living here and now (whatever the particular here and now happens to be) as well. And always I am building a picture of the world, a picture no one can match. Nor, of course, can I match anyone else’s. It is that unique picture, and those habits of mind, and whenever we intend, that we bring across when we die.
I have no energy to record John Tettemer’s youthful realization that this life is only preparation, but that expresses exactly what the guys brought forth.
I guess I should be transcribing each day’s entries, daily, into the computer and printing it out. It would be a relatively painless way of accumulating what I need. But what an incredible labor to try to do it backwards! Another reason to do it daily, of course.
Page 135 of Tettemer. “To my mind, holiness means complete unselfishness, living for others in place of oneself. The monk’s life and the mother’s life of devotion to the interests of others are good starting points for the achievement of saintliness. A good mother and a good monk are saints, whether they perform known miracles or not.”