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Merton: "the sparks of truth, small, recurring flashes of a reality that is beyond doubt, momentarily appearing, leading me further on my way. Things that need no explanation and perhaps have none, but which say: 'Here! This way!'"
In the early 20th century, Alfred Stieglitz did a series of photographs of clouds that he called "Equivalents." Yesterday I watched these clouds form and reform and was reminded of Stieglitz's photographs: I don't think of this image so much as an "equivalent" (whatever he may have meant by that) but just as patterns of light and color that attract attention and then set the mind on a course of reflection. And I was reminded then too of Merton's remarks above.