Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hungry Hearts

--Oh, I knew better.  But I listened to Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart" anyway.  And now I'm haunted by the first stanza:

"Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back
Like a river that don't know where it's flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going"

--I find myself thinking about wrong turns.  I find myself trying to remember when I last bought new tires.  How far could I go in a little Toyota Corolla?

--I also find myself thinking of different communities, of monks and other monastics.  Do monks dream of running away, even though they've taken a vow of community and rootedness to place?  I wrote a bit about this on my theology blog post today.

--I love the title of that post:  "Washing Dishes with Monks."  But I know I love it because I have monastic leanings.  Would non-monk-groupies love it too?

--Long ago, I was grocery shopping with my Jacksonville friend who has known me for a very long time.  We were in the bread section, and I was trying to help him choose a healthier bread.  I pulled out one made by a monastery.  He waved it away.  He said, "If it's made by monks, Kristin must like it."

--But it was a healthier bread!

--Yesterday was one of those tough days when I felt that every aspect of my life was off kilter.  I felt unhappy in every area.  I wanted to run away.  I wanted a different coastline, preferably one a continent away.  Or maybe on a different continent!  How long would it take to drive to South America?

--If Che Guevara could tour South America on a rickety motorcycle, surely my sturdy Toyota Corolla could make the trip.  Didn't Che Guevara tour South America on a rickety motorcycle?  Indeed, Che Guevara's motorcycle voyage set him on a different quest, launched him down that radical road.

--Today is Che Guevara's birthday.  If you were looking for a meditation on him, go here or here.

--I've been thinking about the rickety houses we repaired.  I've been thinking about the rickety sailboat.  I've been thinking about the deeper dreams they represent, the hungers that drive the yearnings towards restoration.

--I work in the hungry heart industry.  Today, another crop of students graduates from our school.  Will their yearnings be fulfilled?

--And back my brain circles to my own yearnings, which likely aren't symbolized by houses/boats in need of repair.  Those are the dreams of my spouse, ancillary dreams to my own.

--Monk or Marxist?  That might be my shorthand.

--Marxists teach me the value of dreaming the impossible.  But I'm wary of what happens when the impossible takes longer than I expect.  I know the tragedy of the Marxist trajectory that ends in revolutions that replicate what already existed.

--From the monks (and the wider religious communities), I learn the value of going through the motions, even when the practices feel hollow.  So, yesterday, I worked on a short story, even though I was convinced it was horrid.  I spent quality time with colleagues and friends, people who reminded me of my purpose on the planet.  I ate quality food with comfort value but not too many calories.  I went to spin class to quiet my mind by pumping my legs.

--This morning, my story doesn't seem horrid.  My work life seems worthwhile, despite its occasional theatre of the absurd qualities.  My relationships seem salvageable.

--One of life's most important lessons:  the value of sleep, the value of waiting a day or a week before hitting the road.

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