Wednesday, April 7, 2004

As the light of a new morning freshens, my heart races to keep up with the feelings brought on by contact with my family, memories recalled by old videos and photos, and ghosts stalking my dreams in the night.

I felt like my trip to Sun City would be a harbinger of thoughts in the future, with all many elderly people who seem to have settled into lives and patterns both useful and determined to be useful, full of consideration for others and taking care of the self. That experience has been contrasted with contact with all the others (including myself) seemingly ill at ease with current events in my own life and in the world, fixated on external amenities like cars, clothes and jobs. The clarion call seems to be that of Captain Hook in that socially adept movie of the early nineties, Hook. I want a party, I want a cookie, Me, Me, Me, now, now now! I don't mean to be negative toward the society or her denizens, but to me at least, it doesn't and never has made much sense in its makeup and manners.

I went on a two-year service mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when I was a bit younger. Yesterday, I saw a wee vid of my family and a few of my friends when I returned from that period of time in my life. I was struck by how ill-at-ease I was throughout the duration of that video as I interacted with both the camera and the people I was reunited with. It was uncomfortable to see me and how I was trying to relate with all the people, and I remember how much I loved and cared for all of them. I was feeling incredibly deeply, and it seemed that those around me were just trying to get through their lives and days, as usual a little annoyed with my earnestness and philosophy-stone seeking. Most missionaries that I have known are a bit maladjusted when they return home, and I find this troubling. I was alienated in the extreme when I returned, and that was only an intensification of the me that left on my mission two years earlier. It seemed that my experiences with people in Colombia eking out a life between real poverty and joy at living, having to leave them frequently after brief, intense relationships of deep interaction on spiritual levels not normally broached in day-to-day living set me more aback in my work of becoming a normal citizen of the human world than preparing me for my life and relationships to come.

I deeply miss many people who have come into and gone out of my life, for reasons of their own and for reasons of separation of space and time. I have said that before, and when I say them, I say that with deep and true feeling reasoned out and lived practically every day. I also say that with a deep and abiding appreciation and love for my own family and especially my dear wife, Diedre, because she truly understands me and my feelings and helps me in their management and shepherding.

I only hope that anyone out there who has ever felt like I do very much of the time has someone, at least one like she is to me. It makes it bearable and enables each new day of questing for the holy grail of human existence.

Here's to that quest, and to your own new day.

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