I was unfortunately unable to attend Saturday’s retreat organised by the Northern Ireland chapter of the Thomas Merton Society, but the event has been well-chronicled in the blogosphere by one of the organisers, Rev. Scott Peddie, and Tanya Jones, a regular commentator on this blog.
Tanya’s reflections, over on her blog ‘Decombustion: Living without a car and related Musings,’ is part-travelogue, chronicling her rather adventurous journey from Enniskillen to Knocklayd without a car.
She blends her literal journey quite humorously with the spiritual journeying that happened at the retreat. I have to admire anyone who attempts living in relatively rural Northern Ireland without a car. Enniskillen, to be fair, is a decent-sized town, but trying to get from Enniskillen elsewhere is clearly complicated. In Tanya’s case her decision to live without a car seems to me to be part of a radical Christian commitment to live gently on the earth. One of my favourite lines from her post is:
Incidentally, according to the AA, the most direct route from Enniskillen to Ballycastle is 104 miles. Going via Dungannon, Belfast, Ballymena and Ballymoney the journey is 146 miles. I calculate, therefore, that travelling by bus and using my magic iLink card granted me a free 42 miles, coincidentally, of course, the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. If that’s not a clinching argument for not having a car . . .
Scott has recently started his blog, called ‘Conjectures of an eclectic Christian.’ Scott is a non-Subscribing Presbyterian minister, and the blog contains some of his sermons, as well as topics ranging from scientific studies of primate behaviour, to Bonheoffer, to films. His post on the Merton retreat includes the slides for the guided meditation.