I finally know what it is. I’m looking for a new center. Ray provided that for nearly 30 years and home was where ever WE were. Now it is up to me to provide it for myself. But where is it? God, Jesus, Shiva, Buddha, Yahweh, Jehovah, Mohamed, and all the rest know that I’ve searched the entire globe for it. I went to your temples and your churches around the world. I sometimes asked a quiet prayer. You didn’t divulge it. Thus I didn’t find it. But it’s not their fault.
This world is so incredible. It’s more varied than we can hope to understand. How is one to make sense of it? A few people have thought they figured it out, and they’ve proven to be fools. Throughout this entire journey I’ve felt so small in such a big place. Alone I have searched the entire globe for it. I didn’t find it. But over the past few days I’ve figured a better question: What is “it?” I actually consider this tremendous progress. I you don’t even know the question, how can you ever seek the answer?
If I can find the answer to that I think I will be on to something big. Because “it” is causing me to seek, to reflect, to wonder, what is “it” that I want? I uprooted myself from all that was familiar to me. “It” was not “it” anymore. I got rid of everything, and now here I am homeless, a vagabond in the world, looking for something that I can’t really define. Is there any sanity in that?
So we get back to the basic question: what is “it.” “It” is the base point from which we consider all other alternatives. At least that’s what I think. So if I’m really honest with myself, I know what “it” is. It’s from whence I came. For me it’s Kentucky, It’s Appalachia. It’s the land of Dog Days and walking down to Elsie’s to get a gallon of milk. It’s about a cousin, a niece, an uncle, or a dear friend in need of something, and instead of just talking about it, you help. It’s about sitting on your Papaw’s front porch on a summer evening with your aunts, uncles, and cousins singing while you feel the whole world could only be better if there was more watermelon, if there was more Mamaw. It’s about being young too I suppose.
I came to this realization riding in a car in rural India today. The driver pointed out people he knew on the street. It was “his village,” and he was so proud. These people had nothing, not even hope as far as I could see. I glanced over at his face and saw some kind of pride that I think perhaps I’ve suppressed for years. It could have been me saying: This is my holler. This is Lick Branch. I just knew. I knew what “it” was.
“It” is home, and there are some really cool places, but there’s no place quite like “it.”