On the Road with Thomas Merton
Film by Jeremy Seifert
Essay by Fred Bahnson
I, too, have made my way to some of the places in California that Merton visited and to the Christ in the Desert monastery in New Mexico. I, too, was inspired by Merton's 1968 spring trip. I wanted to see what he saw when he ventured out of his Gethsemane monastery those months before he died.
There are many good Merton thoughts in this film and essay. Many good reflections. Many Merton photos I had not seen before. Even some Merton words that are new to me.
"Man instinctively regards himself as a wanderer and wayfarer, and it is second nature for him to go on pilgrimage in search of a privileged and holy place, a center and source of indefectible life. This hope is built into his psychology, and whether he acts it out or simply dreams it, his heart seeks to return to a mythical source, a place of “origin,” the “home” where the ancestors came from, the mountain where the ancient fathers were in direct communication with heaven, the place of the creation of the world, paradise itself, with its sacred tree of life."
- Thomas Merton, from the essay, "From Pilgrimage to Crusade"