Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday Thoughts...

If you want to identify me ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the things I want to live for. Between those two answers you can determine the identity of any person.

Thomas Merton

I almost didn't want to choose this one, because I knew it would make me think. I knew it would make me consider what I am living for and what I think is keeping me from living fully for those things.

The big questions you'd have to say.

I like the process he suggest here, stopping and thinking about what it is that I want to be living for - what that looks like; how I would experience living my best life; the life I would lead if I could.  And then pausing to ask what it it is that stops me.

I like that in the first part he asks for details - for ideas, descriptions and passions that really get to the heart of what it means for each of us to know what we are living for. The second part is interesting and again really asks me to really consider things and identify where the blocks are; sometimes an attitude, sometimes about priorities, sometimes about finances.

Somewhere in between he suggests, I'll find the real me.

Thomas Merton was a remarkable man, and left behind some remarkable writings. Irrespective of whether or not its a true search for self; I think the process of stopping and exploring what the best possible life would be; and what is holding me back from being my best is still a useful one...

©2012 Fiona Dempster - detail of Kurt Schwitters, Revolving, 1919  (MoMA)
This little snippet tells a story of balance - and that is for sure what of the things I am living for...


  1. that is a beautiful passage - and at the same time, makes one almost instantly squirm in their seat... it is not so much the first part that i find hard, but the second... the fear clenches the chest there... but the journey is about staying open - and as you said, finding balance... thank you for this - i shall have to print it out... and i love the mondrian close up... thank you for sharing that as well...

  2. ~i adore the writings of thomas merton...used one of his quotes for the ceremony i between the lines written...

    my dear friend thank you for sharing this with us..awakening our mind to stop and pause for a deep within and ponder such thoughts...

    i think these words are words to carry with us each and everyday that comes life is forever changing and what we want and where we want to be are as well...the things that hold us back...our own reservations go in tune with life and its cycles...ebb and flow...sometimes we rise and sometimes we fall...yet there is that desire to always be...doing and learning and placing ourselves in this world...

    today i take your gift of words and will savor a moment reflecting and searching for my own life reasons...much love light and bright full moon blessings~

  3. A difficult question for us all. From my perspective I think one has to compromise a little in life. If one wants to maintain a meaningful relationship with another person, then at times this can interfere with what you 'want' to do.

  4. merton was an amazing man. and i love this mondrian.

  5. I need to go back to those words and cogitate on them later Fiona. They require a bit of deep thinking and my 'head' is not in that zone today, besides, I am distracted now by the Mondrian image. Is that stitched canvas I see? Why did I think he solely made paintings? This is obviously using other materials and I must find out more!

  6. Gets straight to the heart of the matter, doesn't it? There are all the peripheral issues and questions that we think are the real things to think about....until we come to this....these are the questions underneath all the others. Thanks so much Fiona....great post!!!

  7. Thanks MJ - I agree; it takes a bit of digesting. Sadly I stuffed up the original caption; it's not really Mondrian, but I have now gotten the title right!

    Brandi - life is a circle that has ups and downs, and roundabouts and dead ends sometimes, so I think its good to stop every now and then and ponder. Thanks and go well.

    I agree Jo - I feel the first half is about having dreams/aspirations, but also making sure they are real and possible, no things that will make you unhappy for their unattainability if that makes sense. The second part definitely tells you a bit about why not - and the compromise factor is real for us all. On balance a great life partner is worth it!

    Hi V - he was indeed; and I apologise again this isn't actually a Mondrian...

    Thanks Lesley for making me think I needed to check, and I did! It is a pretty bygone I agree - I daresay it will stay with me a while too.

    Thanks Patti - every now and then I get reminded that these are the things to ponder; not the little issues. They still take a while to work thru tho! Thanks and go well.

  8. You are right.. sometimes there is a question or quote that requires so much thinking that I would have a tendency to postpone.. but this is such an important question to ask oneself. Kurt Schwitters is one of my favorite early collage artists.

  9. Smiling at mairedodd's comment and squirming with her. As you say the quote make's one think and sometimes one doesn't want to be pinned down to think. However this is something I need to ask myself. Jo made a good point about one compromising to a certain extent if one is to maintain a meaningful relationship with another person..... and then as always there is the finance issue. A very interesting point to ponder. I LOVE the Kurt Schwitters detail!

  10. Thank you Donna - sometimes we are almost forced, coerced into thinking these things thru! I think Schwitters work is truly remarkable...

    Thanks Robyn for your considered thoughts...I smiled at MJ's squirming too! There have to be compromises; and life is never all a bout 'me" so it is good to workout within the limits or bounds of my life - how can I be the person I need/want to be. The Kurt Schwitters piece is beautiful isn't it?


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.