“Perfection is therefore a question of fidelity and love–fidelity to
duty first of all, then love of God’s will in all its manifestations.
Love implies preference and preference demands sacrifice. In practice,
then, the preference of God’s will means setting aside and sacrificing
our own will. The more a Christian renounces his own will to do the
will of God in loving submission and carefree abandonment the more he
will be united to Christ in the Spirit of divine sonship, the more truly
will he show himself a son of the heavenly Father, and the close he will
come to Christian perfection.”


–Thomas Merton (Life and Holiness, page 36)


There is a language older by far and deeper than words.

It is the language of Bodies, of body on body, wind on snow, rain

on trees, wave on stone. It is the language of dream, of gesture,

of symbol, of memory. We have forgotten this language, forgotten

it for so long we do not even remeber that it exists. If we are

to survive, we must again remember this language.

We must relearn how to think like the planet.


I remember walking into a cold January afternoon several years ago.

My breath hung white in the air, and two dogs danced at my feet.

I heard in the distance the clamour of geese, then stood speechless

to watch a huge V fly low over head.  I opened my mouyth to say something

– I didn’t know what it would be – and heard my voice say three times

“Godspeed.” Suddenly and for no reason I could understand, I burst into tears .

Then ran into the house.


Walking back outside later and staring into the now empty sky,

I realized that in speaking not only had I been wishing the geese well for their

journey south but they had been using my voice and my breath

to wish me just-as-well on my own-just-as-difficult- journey – this journey

of opposition to the culture that is destroying life on this planet.

The tears,it came clear to me, had been neither for sorrow nor joy,

but for home coming, like a sailor that has been too long at sea,

and who spontaneously bursts into sobs on feeling those tentative

first steps back on solid ground, back at home.


If we are to suvive, we need the planet’s help, just as it

needs ours. To dismantle the walls we’ve so laboriously constructed

to constrict our broken hearts, we must step away from our isolation

from the rest  of the world. There is a whole world

waiting for us, ready to welcome us home.

They have missed us as sorely as we have missed them.

It is time. Return. Godspeed.


Derrick Jensen