Photo by Hernan Pauccara
When I was a young man, I began searching for the meaning of life. Along the way, I wrote a travel journal, a mix of prose and poetry, and labelled it Fool’s Odyssey.
I’d returned home empty-handed. No, empty-hearted. For what I’d really sought was something, or rather someone, who could fill the incessant vacuum in my heart. Ironically (everything ultimately turns out to be ironic, doesn’t it?), I’d found it when I quit searching for it. In the words of a child just outside a country schoolyard.
Before going off to search for “something else,” I’d bought a Bible. So I went home and spent most of the afternoon reading it. There were things in it I’d never seen before. Or rather they’d been there, but they’d been invisible. And then I read this:
For the invisible things of God, since the creation of the world, have been made visible through that which can be seen. And so are you without excuse, because, when you might have known God, you chose instead to hold to your vain imaginings. Your heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, you chose instead to become a fool and worship creation, instead of your Creator. (Romans 1:20-25)
My foolish heart was broken. I thought back on London (“flash, darkness, flash, darkness”). And Paris (“red, black, red, black, red, black”). And Barcelona (“…just like every other cursed thing”). And my flight home (“jump, jump, jump! bump!”) And the emptiness I’d felt upon returning (“not empty like dead, empty like clean”). And the little boy in the woods (“I’m going to find the Easter Bunny”). And then somehow I found these words, words I’d heard but never heard the conclusion to:
“Come unto Me
and I will give you rest.”
And so I rested.
I finally rested.
Wherefore, said the wise man, remember now your Creator… Before the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’ Before the silver cord is loosed, or the pitcher is smashed at the fountain. Before your flesh turns to dust and returns to the earth, and your spirit to God who gave it… Remember now your Creator. (Ecclesiastes 12:6-8)
The words of the Wise Man,
the son of David,
the king in Jerusalem.
The words of the Fool;
the sun had set,
the time had come.
Here concludes the