Friday, January 26, 2007

Recently I’ve found myself longing for a certain sense of place and experience. Sitting in my cubicle at work, my mind draws me past the puce panels and ringing phones out front, to a place somewhere else. Yesterday, as I entered such a state of mental escape, I looked through some of the photographs from National Geographic’s Picture of the Day website, each image acting as a portal for me to jump from world to world; hot springs in Yellowstone, vast deserts in Egypt, the countryside in Iceland. None of these pictures were by themselves enough to detain me—I was searching for something different.

I’m sure you’ve had the experience at some point—you start off thinking it’s homesickness or that you need a vacation, but as you get home, or as you think of what you’d do with all that free time, you realize that there’s a chance fulfillment may not be guaranteed there; escape, yes, but the feeling that you have landed…

At the waning of the day, I sat in my car on the roof of a parking structure in Anaheim. I was waiting for someone, not just loitering, if you were wondering, but in a sense I was waiting for something else, rest or inspiration perhaps. Turning the pages of the book I’ve been reading, I found a travel marker left by Longinus:

Nature has appointed us men to be no base or ignoble animals; but when she ushers us into life and into the vast universe as into some great assembly, to be as it were spectators of the mighty whole and the keenest aspirants for honour, forthwith she implants in our souls the unconquerable love of whatever is elevated and more divine than we.

I wish I could tell you exactly what it is that I look for in the world, in life, in the pages of books or the flicker of film at the cinema. The comfort I find in Longinus' passage is that we as people have been trying to express it to each other from the beginning, and have even come quite close. Still, the war of minds and words rolls on. Each day I wake up and continue my search by God’s side, on some days more earnestly than others—by God’s side because I’m quite sure he’s the only one who knows what we search for through and through. I still haven’t landed. But I’ll let you know, my friends, when I have.

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