On Saturday (August 30), I mentioned a teacher who encouraged me to write. Later that day I revisited the dissertation which we gave birth to eight years ago. Half-way through that auto-ethnographical study, so I remember, after filling pages upon pages with doubts about my academic legitimacy, I began to notice “a faint light shining through the thick of many questions … a scent, perhaps, as if stepping outdoors one morning in early spring and sensing that winter has ended.” In response, my teacher pointed to these lines by Lorna Crozier:
Where does the singing start?
Here, where you are, there’s room
between your heartbeats,
as if everything you have been
begins, inside, to sing.
Even Thomas Merton—Roman Catholic monk-scholar and devout believer in God’s creation of everything—saw that “all good develops from within us, growing up from hidden depth of our being.” No wonder he became my spiritual mentor during that same writing project—even if it was after his death and through his books alone. It was Merton whose quest to cross narrow religious boundaries led me to knock on the door of a Zen monastery, re/quest/ing entry to a contemplative way of being.
sources: Crozier, L. in Leggo, C. (1999). Research as poetic rumination: twenty-six ways of listening to light. Journal of Educational Thought, 33 (2), 113-1333. Merton, T. (1961). The new man. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, p. 236.