Crowded in Fields

8 04 2015

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I wrote a song called Masked Beauty about the things that pass us by each day that we fail to recognize. When I wrote it, I was awe-struck at a man I encountered on campus who I had never met before who offered me his umbrella on a rainy day. I, enchanted by the rain and enjoying running around barefoot, passed up the offer. But it made a mark on me that I have never forgotten.

If I were to apply this to our common day issues, I would recognize the importance of all that we are given each day. I recently had a conversation with my apartment neighbor about student debt. He has accrued quite a bit of debt after 8 years of college; he shared with me that he plans to pay it off in 5-10 years. I was struck by the position of privilege that he is in to be able to pay this debt off in such a short time. To him, it seemed a burden. Just like my loans have been feeling like a huge burden that I cannot dually take care of while also pursuing what I feel my heart needs, he saw his loans as a burden. If we are to see them as a gift, however, it is amazing how they are a reminder of what we invested in ourselves. It is a symbol of what we hope for our futures. If we can invest this much in ourselves throughout our lives, and if we invest in what we truly want to see growing into, then we can do a lot in the world.

Majora Carter emphasized the importance of doing work in the world that we feel is right; if we aren’t willing to invest in these projects, what will become of our earth? ourselves?

We will crumble…

Wendell Berry recognized the importance of paying attention to what the land we find ourselves in needs. If we can’t invest in our land, then we won’t have anything at all.

These two people present beautiful ways of engaging in our world (post-grad) that will be both fulfilling to ourselves and helpful to the world at large. Can we invest in that? Are we willing to take the risk that we’ll be able to pay back whatever debts later?

Are we willing to listen, to act, to respond? To be ourselves, in our true nature? If we never take the jump to invest in our dreams, we will never find out if they can come true.

I have not yet been willing to risk the familiarity and comfort of the life I have known growing up, in order to go in search of what I am truly longing for. The inspiration provided by Majora Carter, and the truth-finding exemplified by Wendell Berry, reaffirm for myself that I must go in the direction of these dreams, whether or not these will result in the simplest path to paying off my student loans. Economic hardship deferment, anyone?

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