Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Got A Feeling.

Sometimes you flee a place, running full steam ahead. You are full of excitement and you are sure that where you fled is behind you. The urge will never cease for you to return there and put your feet in the water of the place of your origin.

I love New Orleans. It is really that simple. I even secretly love the things I complain about the most. My job and my community here is fantastic.

However, like any human being there are days when I look around and everything looks so unfamiliar, so vastly different from my childhood surroundings that I am filled with sadness and longing. I want to not just Skype my parents but, to be able to put my arms around them. Being homesick is temporary, and I know that. Yet, I still feel the need to physically be around my family members.

I recently read the book Water for Elephants (I know I am late to the party, thanks). This book struck a huge cord with me. Not only is it an amazing recant of a unique and exciting life, but it is about human frailty. More specifically, it is about a man in his 90's who finds himself in an unfamiliar place (a retirement home), physically longing to be surrounded by the place where he found his true home. Through his dreams the reader sees his vivid memories of working in and on a circus. When he wakes up he does not recognize his aging body and is frustrated by his inability to recognize family members, and the waning visits with him they make.

This man's story reverberates in me. I consider deeply what this means in my own life. It not only speaks to the reality that I have a grandmother who is going through a similar situation, but to a part of me that wonders what home means to me. Also, what does it mean to dream big and chase the things that seem the most impossible?

While my tumbling thoughts race around in my mind, I am learning to find solace in the good times. Remembering the times that brought me joy, always fulfills new joy. Most of all it is important to know that I am something small that makes up something vast and beautiful. The way one star, when seen with many, makes up the night sky.

Hence My Diatribe...

Side Diatribe: In our current times, let us all consider the words of Martin Luther King Jr.,

"Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."