I’m fascinated by the prospect of putting William F. Buckley, Jr. and Thomas Merton in a room. They never met nor corresponded based on my research thus far. Did Bill ever write Tom’s name in a column? Did Tom mention Bill in a letter or an essay? So far, I’ve come up short, but I’ll keep searching.
Tom and Bill: two incredible minds of their day. Two Catholics. A stretch perhaps, but two theologians.
I’d set their never-occurred interview in the summer of 1968, post Tet Offensive, post Chicago Democratic Convention. Merton’s getting ready for his journey to the Far East. Buckley’s swimming in the swirl of political confusion; not his, the country’s.
Two people with a sapiential view of the world. Sapiential [say pee enshul] – a word Bill Gates and crew lack in their MSWord lexicon. A word seldom heard today. But these two thinkers knew what it meant and actually breathed the essence of it.
Working title for this play: A Firing Line in Gethsemani