No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees. These pages seek nothing more than to echo the silence and peace that is “heard” when the rain wanders freely among the hills and forests. But what can the wind say when there is no hearer? There is then a deeper silence: the silence in which the Hearer is No-Hearer. That deeper silence must be heard before one can speak truly of solitude.
— Thomas Merton, from the preface to the Japanese Edition of
Thoughts in Solitude, excerpted in Echoing Silence:
Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing,
edited by Robert Inchausti