Thursday, December 18, 2008

On Being Stateside...

Well. We're in Texas. I'm sitting in my in-laws' guesthouse, listening to Bon Iver, studying and preparing lectures for a class I'm teaching in January. Man, it is a lot of work. It is one of those intensive, one-week classes - five days, 35 hours of class time. I'm reading the book Organic Community by Joe Myers right now - really, really good so far - putting into words things I've been thinking/feeling/experiencing.

Really smooth transition this time around. I miss my team, church and home - but it has been smooth. I feel some timid tendrils of cultural stress already, but different than ever before. Whereas in past trips 'home', I've raced out to buy the food and sweets I've missed or run to the stores to shop and see what latest game or gadget is out, this time I find myself, well, not.

It all seems too glittery. So big, so very, very big. And loud. So much junk, crap. I'm sure it is worse because it is the Christmas, shopping season, but I still feel it. My ears and eyes are especially sensitive to the commercial nature we're surrounded in. I'm not used to having cable. Not used to paying so little for gas, so much freedom, so many options.

I want to retreat to the silence of this little guest house and yet find myself wishing I were sitting at Yuri's caffe at Piazza Roma where I know how to speak and what to order.

I'm sipping a Dr. Pepper, happy to be with family and spending dollars. I'll lay down on this grass for it is green but I find myself increasingly homeless, increasingly rootless...

Go hug a missionary today. We're weird for good reason...

4 comments:

Amy Storms said...

Wish we could hug your necks today. But it feels better having you back on the same continent, at least. :) LOVE you guys.

the don said...

hey bro,

keep the bon iver flowin'

miss you guys

j beck said...

we love you guys and plan on hugging some missionaries in just few days!!!!

Katy Smelser said...

Boy do we know how you feel! Just sort of off balance, right? Years ago, when we had only been to the States twice in about 7 years, Randy's brother picked us up at the airport. On the drive to his house, we stopped at Taco Bell. We were so confused by the selection that it took us a while to choose and when we picked up "used" trays from the stack at the trash can and started to carry them to the order place, Stan (Randy's brother) asked us to please speak German, so the worker's would know we were "foreigners"! He was a bit embarrassed by our strange behavior.

We'll miss you guys at the Rally.
Katy