Wednesday, February 09, 2011

on vocation ...

“By this time I should have been delivered of any problems about my true identity. I had already made my simple profession. And my vows should have divested me of the last shreds of any special identity.

But then there was this shadow, this double, this writer who had followed me into the cloister.

He is still on my track. He rides my shoulders, sometimes, like the old man of the sea. I cannot lose him. He still wears the name of …. Is it the name of an enemy?

He is supposed to be dead.”

“Maybe in the end he will kill me, he will drink my blood.

Nobody seems to understand that one of us has got to die.

Sometimes I am mortally afraid. There are the days when there seems to be nothing left of my vocation – my contemplative vocation – but a few ashes. And everybody calmly tells me: ‘Writing is your vocation.’”

(Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain.)

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