It is necessary to write a book in which there will be a little less of the first person singular, a little less dramatizing, and fewer resolutions. Or rather, it is not necessary to write a book. Or anything else. One is free to keep a notebook. That is sufficient. One may write or not write. Therefore one may write. Either you look at the universe as a very poor creation out of which no one can make anything, or you look at your own life and your own part in the universe as infinitely rich, full of inexhaustible interest, opening out into infinite further possibilities for study and contemplation and praise. Beyond all and in all is God. Perhaps the book of life, in the end, is the book of what one has lived, and if one has lived nothing, one is not in the book of life. And I have always wanted to write about everything. That does not mean to write a book that covers everything – which would be impossible. But a book into which everything can go. A book with a little of everything that creates itself out of everything. That has its own life. A faithful book. I no longer look at it as a ‘book’. July 17, 1956, III.45, Thomas Merton

[Wat een fantastische laatste regel. Schrijven, alles mag erin, het leeft. I no longer look at it as a ‘book’.]