Shall I ever become accustomed to this strange time? A time of magical devices that house a thousand volumes of songs? Sleek crafted land vehicles? Hand held touch screen-photo-video-audio-recording telephones? Digital night lights, and electronic digital music? Electronic Libraries? My, doesn’t the very ring of these devices merit a sense of strangeness?
Let’s observe that there are women clad in form fitting glitter, who’ll pay a surgeon to insert silicone into their bodies to appear more beautiful. There are children who slink from the daylight to stay indoors in order to vicariously live their lives through a television screen. The entire thing sounds quite like a science fiction novel to me. Not to mention the year is 2012.
If this were a story, my hope is that I am one of the characters that sees past what the world has deftly sold to us: That the ‘futuristic’ times have not come, and that the whole world is one meaningless rock of banality, that there is no wonder in the world, that the story books shall never be.
If in this one instance the story books are made real, but we have become too accustomed to the gizmos and gadgets that we once thought should be strange and new, it leads me to think that there might be other features in the story books that we might have overlooked because we are too familiar with them.
I shall not forget my deep longing for another place, for I don’t feel at home in this strange land. I shall never find the concrete jungles, the towering buildings, and affectations recorded on billboards comforting. Neither shall I find the unnatural flashing lights and noises any solace. In what many would call a daily state of malaise, I shall call homesickness. I refuse to accept the idea that I could ever feel at home in this strange, strange place. Sure, inklings of light are found here. Goodness is still present, but she is in chains and she languishes and toils. One day all things shall be made new. That is my hope.
“I am in exile; a sojourner. A citizen of some other place.”
That’s what I’ll stick to. There’s something in it that rings with freedom. I could be mistaken, and the world might be full of nothing, but how many times in the story books has the outcome been the converse? To me the story books are much more honest about what real life is like, and so, come the accusation of naivety, and ignorance. What I observe is that the best characters are usually expected to find such a resistance. It never stopped them. I pray with all my heart that it shall never stop me. The cry of many a character has been “I will never give in. My allegiance will never be yours”.
“Why so much show, why so much bravado, boy? Everything is fine, and cheery and at ease, no need to be so worked up” they might say. But this is only a way to slowly dim the light. Christ, help me to keep my light atop a hill, and to never hide it beneath a bushel.
“I stand ready and tall: Reflect the light.”