Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Lost and the Searching

It's a funny thing about us Jews. We fall into a few very settled and specific steryotypes and live up to them fully; the Scholar, the Homemaker, the Wandering Artist. Sometimes I think we invented the concept of the steryotype, we do it so well. But it's hard to stick the Searcher into his own category, bc so many of us claim him as our own. Mostly the people who think; I guess those that don't think really don't call themselves Searchers. Those that think usually like to think of themselves that way. (A pretentious affectation? Or an accurate labeling of a slice of reality?)
Ever notice how many of us are obsessed with this home concept? Nationally and personally. I mean, the literature in Judaism - prayers and songs and various teachings, entire sforim - focused, or at least largely driven, by this concept of our lost homeland, the endless search for it, the chronic longing. Very emotionalized idea, especially since the establishment of the State.
And individually; once you leave the house for the first time, it's really never the same coming back. I mean, long-term - year in Israel, first year in college. Living away from home changes something, your parents house is never quite home again. Tom Wolf was right. But that's normal - nature's way of pushing you out into the world, making your own new home and perpetuating the species. But think later on; eventually, your kids move out. And you continue to live in your own home, as long as you can. But eventually, most people can't live on their own anymore and get put into places that are called homes officially which in reality are anything but. And then what? You spend the rest of your life homesick? That's one of the saddest things I can think of, honestly.
I know what my teachers would tell me. This life is only temporary, you can't put too much into physical things, the real world, the real home, is in the world to come. But I can't quite get my head past the home thing. I mean, I don't know what I'd do if the house I grew up in was suddenly gone. I can't quite get over how invested physical thing become, how much of the spiritual, transient lives of people get soaked up within them so that sometimes physical things contain more of actual human life than any one of us. How is something that steeped in reality and life unimportant? How is it something not to be regarded with respect and love?
It's an endless contradiction. That which is unimportant steeped with the essence of the meaning of existence and then completely destroyed. It has something to do with the fusion and the wandering and the wondering but I can't figure out just what yet. Where does it come in?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of thinking and worrying of what would be... enjoy the current!!

Stop worrying, and thinking too much.

start living!!

Each step of life has it's ups and downs, and you have to try to enjoy it and make the best out of it. not waste it worrying for what comes next/

11:02 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

I appreciate your sentiment. however, isn't the essence of Judaim about continual struggle? the metaphor about the ladder, etc? this is just the maudlin philosopher's version of that same idea....

4:47 PM  
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4:54 PM  

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