Day 3 Rochester

13 Jun

  Today (11th) was the first day of the conference and it was indeed an interesting day. The morning was normal, rose had breakfast and then went to the book-shop at the trade exhibition.  Bought way too may books, all essential to my study of Merton and many difficult to get in Australia.  Was able to get a video biography as well as a cd of 4 lectures given by Merton to his students.  Can’t wait to hear his voice. This bookshop specialises in Merton and will provide me with most of the titles to finish off my collection (by about the year 2020!!!) There is a display of Merton’s photography in the library as well as the Merton room with most of his titles and some memorabilia including Merton’s typewriter used to write all his books and his letters. Last night had dinner with a group of notables at Aladdin’s Greek restaurant on the bank of the Erie Canal.  Food was wonderful.  SO was the conversation. This afternoon the conference started with a Eucharist followed by a number of sessions.  As there is no Merton Society Chapter in Australia I went to the session of Chapters to see what is involved in getting a chapter off the ground in Australia.  A lot of help is available and I will use the Merton quiet day as the basis for promoting the possibility of a Merton group in Sydney.  Should be fun. Tonight was the conference dinner.  Great meal followed by a number of awards and the president Don Greystone gave a talk on “Monastic in His Own Way: Thomas Merton and Leonard Cohen.”  This was very interesting, exploring the Zen Monasticism of Cohen alongside the monastic life of Merton.  Great stuff. Now it is sleep time and hopefully I will be ready for a busy day to morrow.
More to come.

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