Saturday, February 23, 2019

This world is not my home

...“[N]ostalgia” emerged into English from an ancient Greek word for “homesickness,” which is telling, and this is where Esolen fires his opening shots. We are not comfortable in our own skin. Nostalgia may be the stuff of harmless rumination for some people, but, depending on the state of the soul in which it lingers, it should also be taken as a fixed reminder that none of us, no matter our station in life, are really home. We are all wanderers looking for a cheering hearth, sailors searching for a last port. Yet there’s a decisive difference between those who know they’re wanderers and those who don’t, between those who frankly accept and then embrace life as a pilgrimage, as a purposeful journey marked by prudence, luck, and grace, and those who feverishly adopt any New Thing to bestow meaning on thin, rudderless lives. Esolen hopes to awaken us to the work of espying our true home, and he gives us a few GPS coordinates to punch in. But we also learn that finding a true home, an ultima Thule, is no easy matter, nor is it for the faint of heart. It’s a task that begins in this life but is consummated in the next.

This book is, in other words, for adults, not children, however many decades old. It’s for those willing to ask ultimate questions and armed with the courage to listen to a few answers and follow up. ....

Our homeless state, whether arising from a home we’ve lost or a home we long to find, offers a sign of hope that we will rouse ourselves and claim enough spiritual strength to hit the road in glad earnest. The future-addicted tend to lack the grounding to move securely into it — not knowing where they’ve been, they’ve little sense of where to go — and are fueled more by hatred of the present than by a steady dedication to a Better Day. Nostalgia, on the other hand, may render us discontented, but it calls us, albeit quietly. It offers a better launch and promises a truer trajectory. .... (more)
Esolen's "nostalgia" reminds me of C.S. Lewis's "sehnsucht."

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