What did we find in Todtnauberg, A. and I? What we already knew. What were we expecting – us, a couple of middle-aged European men with all the usual baggage? Some sort of affirmation, revelation? We didn’t expect that: we’re too jaded, too guarded. So what were we looking for? Why go to all that trouble and expense? An interesting trip? A cultural experience? No, we’re looking for something ganz Anders, something truly outside ourselves. We’re the same in that way, A. and me, despite our many differences and despite the fact that we’re now in different countries. We have the same, almost impersonal longing. There’s still something childlike about us, which looks out at the world and needs something much more than what we already know to become whole.
Absolute awe before God: that’s what we need. We’re a little tired of all the rest. We’re tired of talking about ourselves. We’re tired of the world, of Being, of family, of politics, money, relationships, sex, booze, waking, sleeping, chatting, working, walking, shopping, living.
On the surface we look reasonably well put together, talk a good game, have our affairs more or less in order. But in secret – a secret only we know about each other – we want what we’ve always needed: we want God.
We believe the world is a gift from God. We don’t take it for granted. But we also believe the world is next to nothing before God, a grain of sand. We speak metaphorically. We chat endlessly and say very little. We’re only too aware of how little we can say. We interpret the things around us, ourselves, in shifting symbols and signs, depending on what we’re confronted with. We change our views according to what happens to us. We barely understand anything. We only see God in glimpses. And yet God is everything. It’s all we really care about. How to make room for that thought, that longing, when we’re so ill-equipped?