Here.

Today we welcome Guest writer Brooke Lange. Brooke is a sophomore at Concordia University Nebraska majoring in Psychology and Social Science. She is one of the best question askers I know and always challenges me to think out side of the box. My life is better because she is in it.

A few weeks ago, as people were preparing (in several senses of the word) to embark on Thanksgiving break, there was a lot of talk of “here.”  

I hate it here. 

Here lies my motivation to do schoolwork. 

*I don’t want to be here anymore.  

We haven’t been very fond of “here” lately. 

I (and maybe you too) have a tendency to think that the goodness I want in life is just outside of the bounds of Here, that if I just moved There or was There in my relationship with that person or if I got  a job There, then There will become my Here and finally, I would be at peace.  

 When we believe that we are prone to the circumstances of Here, that we are mercilessly thrown from one place that is not quite where we want to be to another that is not quite where we want to be, life can feel helpless – joyless even.  

David Foster Wallace addressed this circumstance in his commencement speech given at Kenyon College, This is Water. 

“It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same thing that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.” 

I’ve seen that fire before. It’s the feeling that comes in sparks, usually during Events Engineered to Ponder Life, otherwise known as weddings, funerals, graduations, confirmations, and bar mitzvahs. The ones that make me think about all the people who have gotten me Here and how far people have traveled to come Here. This Here, if approached correctly, invokes a great sense of comfort and joy that is almost overwhelming. The connectedness of my life to what the people in my life have done on the behalf of my well-being in Here, makes the physical Here, no matter where it happens to be, seem sacred.  

Unfortunately, life is not all Events Engineered to Ponder Life – often it is not that. But we can take our own physical Here and mental Here and recognize the work and the changes and the sacrifices people had to make only for us to be Here, in both senses of the word. 

Here is fleeting. We may frequently return to the same places, but who we are changes constantly. Find what makes your Here good and beautiful and sacred. Hold on tightly to it and use it to make Here a good one. It’s all we can do.  

*Overheard while walking through that nasty Nebraska wind. It’s not that deep.  

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