A drive of just over two hours can shake the cobwebs off of impracticality. What once was only a slightly blurry look into a prospective future becomes more sharply focuses as the hours and the miles drift by. Yesterday’s drive to Texarkana in pursuit of an elusive fantasy awakened the realist in me; a refuge two-plus hours away is not a refuge—it is an impractical escape. The acreage was nice, the mobile home was more than adequate, the outbuildings were serviceable and then some—but their distance from where I live is just too great. I knew that going in, didn’t I? Of course I did. But did it stop me from attempting to believe the impossible? Not until I began calculating the financial and temporal costs of the impossible dream. I’m glad I drove to Texarkana. It was a nice escape from the more mundane aspects of life. But a refuge two hours away is a bridge too far; my escape could become just another prison, a structure built from time and distance. Solitary confinement behind the wheel on a highway crowded with people in a hurry either to arrive or to escape. My dream—the one I thought dead—is on a ventilator, but still clinging to life. Maybe it will survive a little longer.
Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.
~ George Santayana ~
One week from today, I will deliver my “faith journey,” which will constitute the Insight Service for church. Only a few years ago, the idea that I would ever have embarked upon a “faith journey” would have seemed ludicrous to me. Yet, now, as I consider the ways my world view has bent and twisted and flexed over the years, I realize I have been enmeshed in that odyssey for a very long time. Like the word “religion,” I take issue with many of the emotional elements attached to the word “faith.” But I am more tolerant and more accepting of divergent philosophies than I was in years past. As I contemplate what I will talk about next week, I am finding considerable “material” in blog posts I have written over the years. Reading them in chronological order, I was a bit surprised at how my viewpoints have evolved over time. Maybe, by the time I stand at the lectern to deliver my presentation next Sunday I will have finally come to understand just where my journey has taken, and is taking, me.
The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the older man who will not laugh is a fool.
~ George Santayana ~
When I went searching for words spoken by people in years past—words that mirror my thoughts and philosophies—I came across several quotations attributed to George Santayana. Yet, in reading a number of ideas extracted from his writing, I discovered that his philosophies and mine are not always in alignment. That notwithstanding, I think he was someone with whom I could have enjoyed conversing and with whom I might have liked arguing. Unless he was not as fast on his feet as his words seem to suggest, I am sure he would have trounced me in argument and debate, but he seems like a man who would not rub his opponent’s face in the beating. The quote below, assigning more value to religion than would I, seems a gentle way of both embracing and effacing religion and humanity in a single stroke. I would have selected a dozen more quotations attributed to Santayana, but I do not have the patience to sort through them all.
Religion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.
I want to go walking this morning, but I for some reason I am reticent to go out for fear of encountering another human being (which is highly unlikely) with whom I would have to exchange pleasantries. I am not in the mood to exchange pleasantries. Not just yet. So, I will defer my walk until later. Now, I will go shave. And I will shower, but that may wait for just a while. First, my SIL will come for coffee and a visit with her newish dog. And thus begins the day.
“Religion in its humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.”
I don’t know what that even means. He’s been gone 70 years…I wonder if he would write the same words today.