Joel Minor (irememberearth) wrote in parabola_mag,
Joel Minor
irememberearth
parabola_mag

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Absence and Longing

I'm not yet through with the latest issue, "Absence and Longing" (I usually take my time reading an issue throughout the season), and it's already a recent favorite. I'm picking up a theme throughout: that longing is an inherent human quality that is paradoxically evidence of love, presence and unity. We tend to think of longing as something negative, but really we are duped because it is an inescapable and necessary aspect of our nature, and there are many forces out there and inside ourselves, that misplace the longing, toward ungratifying goals.

The basic notion that you find God by searching for God, is at play here. You are at one with your Beloved by yearning for his/her presence. It's the fear of absence and longing that kills us, not absence and longing themselves. As alluded to in the piece, "In Time," we begin life with arms outstretched to nothing, and if lucky enough to die of old age, often we do so raising our arms up again as if reaching for something intangible again. The key is to embrace the need, listen to the calling, and accept and celebrate it for what it is: a communication with the heart.

Speaking of "In Time," the end of that article struck me especially. As an archivist I know the feeling of going through old documents, especially correspondence, and feeling like I am invading them, but also reawakening them. On a good day at work I will experience that curiosity, mystery, longing that letters or other manuscripts hold of the past. It's a great job for someone whose mind likes to use the present to explore the past and arrange it for the future.
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