Friday, April 24, 2009

unfinished 2

Intially considering how an unfinished living space allows for possibility. How the opposite of unfinished, cluttered suggests a full living space without room. Love those horizontal spaces like countertops, desks, tables, spacious couches, a big bed, and chairs.

Thomas Merton, or Father Louis as he was called in his monestary, seemed unfinished in his journey of understanding. Some could call it a journey of faith but Merton wrote a great deal about his faith in his journals. Understanding fits. His life ended abruptly in 1968 when he was electrocuted turning on a floor fan with an apparent short circuit. With all that we have to read about and by this person, it’s as if his unfinished business of understanding continues in the minds of others benefitting from his work, his writings.

Last night, an author, a sociologist from NYU, Dalton Conley described how he’s “in dialogue” with some past sociologists and economists. People gone but their work still speaks to him, allowing for listening and continued research or in Conley’s case, teaching insights and insights about our modern society.

I suppose when it comes to many categories of work we need to determine when something’s done. It may not be finished in our mind, but we must hand it in, sign the painting for the patron, pour the concrete, make the deal. Done but not finished.

Merton wrote, over the years, a long treatise called the Inner Experience. In his journals he repeatedly refers to this paper and remarks about its unfinished state, the fact he doesn’t wish for this to be published. At the same time he considers it his greatest work. Unfinished. His friend, William Shannon edited this book based on his study of four unfinished manuscripts and the unfinished treatise came to book form in 2003.

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