Jordana and I took one of our routine trips out to the suburbs the other day to take care of some shopping and other errands. By the end of the day, we were fantasizing about starting Walden 3. During our time in college together, we had to read Walden 2 for one of our psychology classes at Simpson University. We were certainly the oddballs in our program. Every class, most of the other students in the class would complain about how ridiculous and frightening the concepts of the book were. We often fantasized about how wonderful it would be to start a venture similar to what was described in the book, minus the way in which the children were raised. As we would drive around Redding on the weekends running errands, we became so disgusted with people and wanted to get away.
We have been experiencing some of the same emotions lately. It has not been an easy 2010 thus far, dealing with the emotions that come along with discovering you are pregnant for the first time and then finding out 8 weeks later that you lost the baby. As a result, emotions have been running near the surface and patience has been wearing thin. Impatient drivers honking at stoplights, people walking out in the middle of the street without checking for cars, trash lining the streets and sidewalks, our neighbors having their weekly drunken argument in the street, and the mother of three with another on the way cussing at her kids to get back in the fucking house. We hope that we are making some small difference in our sphere of influence, but it has been difficult not to entertain notions of getting the hell away from humanity and making a life somewhere far removed.
Living where we do and working where I do, it has become so much more clear to me why Jesus had to go off on his own so much. Perhaps Peter or one of the many people who came to Jesus for healing would have eventually received a solid punch in the face had Jesus not taken the time to go off on his own, recharge, and renew the incredibly patience necessary to work with people. The last few weeks, we've tried to keep in the habit of getting out of the city on Sunday for a hike in the woods. This has been such a meaningful time and has really been giving us the break we need to maintain perspective and keep from losing hope. We all need that break and we need to step away from daily reality on a regular basis so that we don't lose sight of the big picture and what is really important in life.
We recently watched "Into the Wild" together...highly recommended if you have not yet seen it. This young man essentially erases his identity and goes off on his own to live in the wild, having so many incredible experiences and adventures and never being tied down to a specific location. In the end, however, he died alone, shortly after having the realization that happiness is only real when it is shared. As tempting as it is to start a new existence somewhere and leave this world to destroy itself, that existence would be limited in meaning. For now, we will keep doing the best we can, making sure to escape on a regular basis to maintain perspective. Otherwise, someone might get punched in the face.