aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Weary of exile

The world I thought I was going to inherit, my parents' world, with their understanding of America, their values, their culture and education, has long since died. I have always been like a survivor of Atlantis, I suppose, trying to preserve what scraps of our heritage I could. For a long time, I thought I and others like me might succeed in building a world which would honor the best we had inherited. Instead, I see a world increasingly debased. I would say, barbaric, except I know my barbarians and a good barbarian would be disgusted by the society we inhabit these days.

I suppose those in the Fifth and Sixth Centuries who had to face a new world after the collapse of Rome felt that way, and they didn't do too badly. They kept some of the best of the ancient world and worked it into what we call the medieval. Christianity, at root an Eastern faith, had transformed the West and become at home in the Empire; now, it began to join itself to, and change, the Germanic nations that overthrew the Mediterranean-based society it had called home. The process has repeated itself several times since then.

There's hope in that, but it's all long-term. In the here and now, satisfactions are few and far between. Truly, this life is a struggle. Evil is all around us (and within us), and there is no resting place. We have to live as those who have a home, but not assume that the society we inhabit is that home. "This world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' through," as the old song says.

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