Thursday, July 28, 2016

"Ideals are peaceful. History is violent."

I suppose everyone's got way stations along the highways of their lives -- little rest-stop blisters where a driver can angle to the right, park, step out, stretch and be careful of the poison ivy ... a belief or assumption or ... well, a rest stop. No need to tussle and improve. Just a place to stop.

Last night, I was watching a pretty-gritty World War II movie entitled "Fury," the tale of a tank company taking on the Germans during the waning days of the war. And in one of those war-movie obligatory rest stops or overviews, the central character, a sergeant, observes approximately to a confused and frightened newcomer in his squad, "Ideals are peaceful. History is violent."

For a moment I was surprised. For a guy like me who has read reams of spiritual-life books of one kind or another, I too was content with this celluloid rest stop. It might not be entirely true, but it was close enough to being true so that I was content to rest and stretch in the comforting household furniture in my home.

Close enough. No need for a lot of discussion or dissection. No need for improvement. The highway was out there waiting, but this rest stop was settled ... or close enough to being the whole ball of wax to be the whole ball of wax. Or anyway, for me.

The gentle question attending on this rest stop -- I repeat, gentle -- is, what place is it in which what is peaceful and what is violent are simply set aside? Just no more high-speed connections and understandings and bright lights and shadowy gloom. What place is this that requires no effort or truth or falsehood?

I suppose others have their own rest stops, but this occurred to me as one of mine.

1 comment:

  1. And the final stop in this travel metaphor would be death? The big sleep, the dirt nap, eternal rest, etc.