Once again, Paul brought up the idea of traveling around the states. Instead of it being a desperado fleeing from the establishment, though, Paul has legitimized it by saying he can apply for jobs in different parts of the country. Hmmmm… I think, interesting idea. I wonder if we’re spin doctoring the idea a bit. I wonder if we’re euphemizing our escape. But even so … I like it.
In Sometimes a Great Notion, Paul Newman’s character has been pushed into a corner by the big logging companies. In the final scene, he straps his dead father’s amputated arm with its purple bloated middle finger shooting in the air to the mast of his boat before delivering his final act of defiance. Sometimes, I feel like this blog is the amputated arm and that purple bloated middle finger, our final act of defiance to all the respectability that keeps us cornered, running on this hamster wheel.
There will be consequences we will have to face, I know. But I’m tired of being someone I’m not. I’m tired of submitting and groveling and begging and taking so little for what I do. Not only is it humiliating, it offers no relief, no solution, and no end of trials and sufferings.
C.S. Lewis describes hell in The Great Divorce. It really doesn’t seem that different from the life we’re living – scrabbling and clawing for a living. In fact, I’ve read writers who play with the idea that we’re already in hell – driving in smoking cars to and fro and back and forth, fearing cancer, fearing failure, what will we do about college, how will we fund the wedding, what about Christmas, fearing, fretting, fighting, working for the house we never see, barely having time to clean the things we own, then it’s time to work for things to put in the house, then a newer car that we wander the earth in back and forth, to and fro, in mindless busying wanderings with no point.
Hurry is the devil.
What if we lived today like we wanted. What if, like in Office Space, the hypnosis never wears off and we all just showed up to work in our waders and slapped the salmon on the keyboard and started gutting it? What if we stopped depending so much on them and started coordinating with each other to supply our needs.
The economy would crash.
It’d mean pandemonium.
But when the dust settled, what would it be like? Would it be better? Wouldn’t anything be better? Would it be worth it?
Lent is coming up. Paul and I usually try to fast from something for the forty days. We’ve fasted from coffee and alcohol.
What about fasting from the establishment for forty days? What if we all took a vacation and lived life like we want to live for Lent? What if we left the many things that have hooks in our lives and enjoyed the many desires deep within our hearts? What would your life look like? What would mine look like?
It’s something to ponder. Maybe this Lent we’ll fast from striving.
In the Lord’s prayer, we ask,
Father in heaven, we praise you. Let us live here on earth as you would have us live in heaven. Give us food for today. Forgive us in the same way we forgive others. Don’t tempt us but rescue us from evil because everything is yours forever.
Like all truly powerful ideas, the prayer is simple and profound. How would our world change if we all lived it?