Author Scott Savage recalls how he patiently waited for his assigned number to be called at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. "B-1!" the agent finally announced, and the humble Quaker stepped forward. "I want my driver's license revoked," Savage calmly explained. The agent slowly smiled as she studied the strange, Amish-looking man before her. Why would he want his license revoked?
"I could explain that I used to wear a suit and tie and sit in front of computer screen, that I made an hour-long commute to work," writes author Scott Savage (The Plain Reader). "That nowadays I get around by horse and buggy and I like it a lot better." But the reasons run deeper than an aesthetic preference for buggies. It took Savage (who is also the editor of Plain magazine) a week to make his pilgrimage across Ohio to reach the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. A Plain Life chronicles this journey as Savage candidly reveals why he needed to disconnect from the world of "instant mobility." "Losing control over where I can go puts me into a stronger relationship with people where I am--into a relationship of community," he writes. Through flashbacks and reflections, this highly acclaimed writer invites readers into his compelling Quaker community, where he spends his days doing rural chores, fathering a clan of imaginative young children, tending an inspirational marriage, and moving slowly as he follows the Quaker path. --Gail Hudson
From Publishers Weekly
The editor of Plain magazine and of A Plain Reader chronicles his latest steps toward living the spiritual values and insights that have marked his life as a conservative Quaker. Recently, Savage walked 120 miles across the state of Ohio to voluntarily turn in his driver's license. The eight-day trek confirmed a belief that he once had expressed to an Amish neighbor who was curious about Savage's switch from cars to horse and buggy: "I told him... that I had become willing with the help of the Holy Spirit to trade some convenience for the privilege of becoming more responsible for the place where I live." As he walks, he ponders Jesus' beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount, interweaving commentaries, personal reflections and passing observations to illuminate our utter dependence on God. Thus, Savage replaces the King James version of the first beatitude ("Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven") with what he says is a "little more precise" New English Bible translation: "How blest are those who know that they are poor; the kingdom of Heaven is theirs." Although his walk itself comes across more as a structuring device than as a real journey, this "plain Christian's" peripatetic musings on how to live a whole and honest life could benefit readers of all beliefs and lifestyles. (Mar.)
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