Saturday, October 6, 2012


We all feel the almost unbearable urge to fit in somehow, to pull together the fringes of the world into place around us in the shape of family, friends, job, entertainment, clothing. We also have a sense that this is a symptom of the herd mentality and to be scorned, a shame which causes us to apply and reject the labels so frequently used: hipster, ghetto, nerd. But it is a universal necessity to belong. We seek esteem of whatever qualities in us we deem estimable--a hair cut, our ability with computers, holiness like a patched and shredded garment. Who we are often cannot stand alone. And I'm not sure it should. Fellowship is the basic emotional/spiritual need, the cry that goes deeper than Maslow's hierarchy.

See how we shift the upholstery of our souls? How this one assumes the skinny jean/shipster look and that one the pencil skirt/intelligentsia look--changing the upholstery, and sometimes the attitudes, that cover the still-beating heart and blood.

So in this sense we are shallow creatures, changeable, malleable. Ready to give up one skin for another, assuming actions, mannerisms, thought patterns like chameleons. But in another way we are sublime for this trait, for we recognize the trappings which seem to us admirable and pursue them, and our souls achieve a momentary apotheosis. It will not last, but the transformation has made us divine for a moment. It has also brought us one step closer to other souls--we have reached out of the forsaken splendor of our own souls and into the territory of another spirit.

Fellowship. The urge to belong. Part of the human condition, the splendor and the squalor.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I always appreciate how you can bring inner musings up to the surface in powerful yet simple words. Thanks!