Here I sit, my brain distracted by the whirl of televised athletics and the aural blur of white noise, attempting to express something of the agon of my sentiments. Why have I been made to apprehend the great and terrible shadow of the past, and what can I or even should I do about it? Why has the Father of lights, the bestower of every good and perfect gift, not given to me to own and be owned of a nice reformed girl with wavy dark tresses, bright eyes, and full hips? Why can't I chew the cud of oblivion with a pious heifer? Does He punish me for some sordid hours clutching claypaper? Does He prepare me for some other work, perhaps a noble death? Does He prepare me for Himself? For why I am I left alone with God to rave into the blank window of this white page at 10:55 p.m. on a Sabbath in a bar on Bethel Rd. alone and yet crammed in a room with more proles than I shall see in class on a Monday. Perche, perche, perche.
Perhaps I shall call a friend at GMU and wallow in self-pity with him. More than anyone else with whom I am intimate, he stands in this position too. But he is also more free from the burden to know, to prognosticate, to publish, what is in the scroll of Fate. And yet he has also read Herbert and knows what it is to know what must be unleashed upon humanity.
Perhaps I should give up my library and my internet connection and buy a little skiff and sail beyond the Western sea and dip my oar beneath the Southern Cross off the Antipodes. Perhaps there I might find virtus and some way of ascent to God and to the love which moves the sun and the other stars.
Tomorrow, I will go to Kirk and stare at the beautiful women and wonder if they're looking at me. Just kidding. I'll hear a long sermon preached by a good and wise man but from a theological orientation which I can't fully share. The tragedy of it seems I shall remain powerless to tell him how this can be. How may I be loyal to a reformation which, although it brought much light to certain issues, nonetheless ruined the city of God in this age of the world?. And maybe I'll partake festively in a snack of grape juice and white bread, on the legal fiction that we are supposed to be giving thanks to the God Who loved the kosmos so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever will take Him for all that He is shall not be given over to his own fears or the twilight of amor sui, but shall become one with the meaning of life and come to resemble the summum bonum.
In my little non-system of half-baked conclusions, the institutional Church is supposed to be the central organ of a good and just society, the organ which makes legit the goodness and even the clear title of every landowner. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus est. But is such a Church only an idol in my mind? The folks at Tyler sought to transcend the tragedy of the Reformation, and not only did they open the can of worms, but they fell into the can themselves. And now the Moscow circle aims to sequel their adventures. I look at their conferences on websites and think how much they remind me of the old annual Appalachian Conferences to Rebuild America. Vanity. Yes. No. Maybe? How can you expect to change the world if the best you can do is to get a bunch of white trash and frustrated suburbanites packed into a ballroom and read to them a few pages ripped from the end of the Cliffnotes version of the history of ideas.
To rebuild America? --"There are traitors in our midst." ---"Let's just expose them. Call them out." --What if Oliver Cromwell and George Washington are some of them?" What a hard lesson. The mortal enemy of Christendom is not Marx or NOW or even Msr. Foucault. It is the nation-state itself. Yes, not 1917 or 1789, but the American and English constitutions themselves and that peace of greatest price from 1648.
Alas that my natural allies are consumed with their own visions of the past, whether with the final triumph of the SL&C or with the reform of the American experiment secundum scripturas of original intent. To these struggles, of the 16th or of the 18th century, they remain wedded, like Catullus to Lesbia--and yet what a sham marriage this be!
Who are you? What do you want? I feel as if I hardly know anymore. But the alternative seems to be too . . . stupid--that you know that you are the son of some dissolute Straussian ethicist or the creature of some pseudo-rhetorical reformed guru--argh! Or is it that we are all condemned to be men of our own time and that I find it hard to try to live, like a freak, on the point of many knives in history?
Perhaps it would be better to say: I know who I am, but not who I may be if I choose? Is why I have good editions of the Critique of Pure Reason and Al-Ghazali and Empedocles and Jean Bodin on my desk. In piles. Is life, for me at least, partly about just submitting to texts? Or is it that texts are easier to control, to catch, to objectify, on white pages or browser windows. LOL. For he who cannot control himself is not worthy of a god's table or a goddess' bed. Or am I somehow something less Satanic than this will to power?
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundis, misere nobis.