Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Musings on the Discipline of Writing

"The object of writing is to grow a personality which in the end enables one to transcend art."

Lawrence Durrell--Balthazar

I purchased a new book yesterday titled "Echoing Silence" -- Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing--Edited by Robert Inchausti. Thomas Merton who is one of my favorite writers, (who I have spent many hours with over the years reading his journals.) I would like to share the first paragraph from this book:

Thomas Merton began writing as a teenager in an effort to discover who he was and what he believed. This discipline transformed him from a self-confessed middle-class prig into a struggling bohemian artist seeking to forge in the smithy of his soul the uncreated conscience of his race.

Writing as a discipline to understand self and to be transformed...I like this concept! I might still have a chance of being transformed as I continue to write.

In Eugenia Price's book "Early will I Seek Thee, " I started reading the chapter titled, "To be Original." I had to giggle to myself after reading her thoughts, I do want to be original, but without Jesus there simply is no chance. Christ is creator, He lives within me, and is my source of original thoughts and ideas, all I need to do is learn to be silent and tap into His never ending supply of orginal thoughts.

What a great thought to start this day. One more musing from Thomas Merton on writing:

I wanted to be a writer, a poet, a critic, a professor. I wanted to enjoy all of kinds of pleasures of the intellect and of the senses, and in order to have these pleasures I did not hesitate to place myself in situations which I knew would end in spiritual disaster--although generally I was so blinded by my own appetites that I never even clearly considered this fact until it was too late, and the damage was done.

Of course, as far as my ambitions went, their objects were all right in themselves. There is nothing wrong in being a writer or a poet--at least I there is not: but the harm lies in wanting to be one for the gratification of one's own ambitions, and merely in order to bring oneself up to the level demanded by his own internal self-idolatry. Because I was writing for myself and for the world, the things I wrote were rank with the passions and the selfishness and sin from which they sprang. An evil tree brings forth evil fruits, when it brings forth fruit at all.

From these thoughts of Merton and Price what I can conclude is this: When I seek Christ with all of my heart, I will find orginal thoughts and when I write for Jesus it will be Him who recieves the glory and I will be taking from the tree of life not evil...or something like that!

2 comments:

TS said...

Suzanne Rae Deshchidn another poet I respect has also spoken highly of Thomas Merton. I guess I am going to have to read him.

robin sloboda said...

For a man who died when I was eight, he has the same kind of humor as I do...which is scary!

He is one of the few writers that make me laugh because he is real. I will write a post on how I first met TM. I like to read his journals, the one that I first read was Run to the Mountain, 1939-1941. He is a young man trying to figure out life. He has become a friend...even if we never met.