My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.
A chance meeting with a Roman Catholic nun on the underground railway in Naples when I was 15 years old introduced me to Thomas Merton. She urged me to read “The Seven Storey Mountain” (the long version of his autobiography) which I did. Even at that age I was enormously drawn to the monastic life and enjoyed the book because his experience showed me what was possible. Since then, his books and books about him have been steady reading over the last 40 years. What he wrote about his hermitage and his own journey into solitude were of particular interest to me because I felt a similar attraction.
This video on YouTube takes us inside Merton’s hermitage. What surprises me is how large it was and how well furnished. I wasn’t expecting a “hermitage” to have four rooms and a dozen pots and pans for cooking. Of courses, this is just my expectation – I’d thought it would be much smaller and more like a simple cabin with a toilet. The soundtrack of chanting is quite intrusive in what is, after all, a tour of a hermitage not a temple. Personally I’d prefer to be able to appreciate the location in silence.
Anyway, see for yourself.
Watch the video: Tour of Thomas Merton’s hermitage