Get lost? Where? How? And more importantly, why?
I know, it sounds crazy. But don’t worry, I’ll explain.
The other day, I was craving something more than just another day at school. I yearned for more than just waking up at my normal time, eating the same-old lunch, sitting in my exact same desk and going to the gym. I know this because I did all of those things. And on my walk home from the gym, I got the urge to do something out of routine. I felt a need to get lost from my own thoughts. Get lost from complacency. So I did.
I got in the car and drove. Not very far, not anywhere new, but on roads that hold very special memories. I’d say I have somewhat of an I-You relationship with these farm roads and the cows speckled along the rolling hills and the rotting sheds and the misplaced cacti that grow along the route. I just tested your philosophical knowledge with that sentence. If you read ‘I-You’ and didn’t bat an eye, I’m guessing you’re a Buber-pro. You know all about what it’s like to have encounters with other people, with nature, with God and how to talk about it in fancy Buber-esque terminology. I’m certainly not one of these people. But, I can enlighten you a little bit if you read ‘I-You’ and went something like, ‘what the heck!?’ because a few days ago, that would’ve been me, too.
So Buber. Who is he? He’s a philosopher, or a writer, or an intellect. Whatever you’d like to call him. Essentially, he was a man who wrote down what it’s like to really love someone or something without abandon, how special, intimate encounters can occur in the world if two people let down their boundaries and become open to experiencing something. Sounds great, right? I thought so too. Reading Buber’s book I and Thou made me think twice about myself. Which is why it’s a great read-it really makes you wrestle with how you want to live your life in relation to the rest of the world.
Maybe all of this wrestling I’ve been doing in my head is what made me go for a drive. Because the drive I went on took me to a place where I feel as though I have genuine encounters with the world and myself. I usually run on the farm roads and the things I think of when I’m out there help me feel connected to myself, connected to the trees, connected to the cows and the fenceposts and the willow tree past the pond and to my friends even though they’re not physically with me. And the best part of these runs is that I don’t realize how enriching they are until after I finish. I think Buber would say that I was doing something right and just getting lost out there.
Buber says it a lot better than I do. Try thinking about this one for a while: “Love is responsibility of an I for a You: in this consists what cannot consist in any feeling– the equality of all lovers, from the smallest to the greatest and from the blisfully secure whose life is circumscribed by the life of one beloved human being to him that is nailed his life long enough to the cross of the world, capable of what is immense and bold enough to risk it: to love man…Believe in the simple magic of life, in service in the universe, and it will dawn on you what this waiting, peering, “stretching of the neck” of the creature means.” If this doesn’t make you want to go out and buy Buber, or at least rent his books from the library, I don’t know what will. And trust me, I’m no philosopher but this stuff makes you think.
I’ll leave you with a couple pictures from my encounter with the farmlands and tomorrow I’m posting a great snack/breakfast/dessert/anytime treat that will get you lost in an I-You moment from the second the spoon hits your mouth. Pick up Buber and get lost. You’ll feel renewed.