On Walks Through Autumns

Pico Iyer–journalist, essayist, unintentional (?) philosopher–quotes several thinkers in his book Autumn Light, an exploration of losses and other turning points in his life. Referring to Thomas Merton’s ‘Fire Sermon’ in response to death or estrangement among family and friends, he says life itself is a burning house. To what then can we cling? Merton’s answer: “Only the certainty that nothing will go according to design; our hopes are newly built wooden houses, sturdy until someone drops a cigarette or match.” An appropriate reference in the context of his return trip to his alternate home in Nara, Japan, where fires … Continue reading On Walks Through Autumns