In celebration of the five year anniversary of my experience in living out of my car, I am posting a series of journal entries never before revealed. The hope of my Walden series is to share both a journey and a story of my attempts to live and find a real and living God. I hope the snippets entertain and as inspire you as much my experience of them has entertained and inspired me.
“…I want to say that my life was full of experience. I want to be somewhere where I can’t deny the issues or run away from God…” Journal Entry March 29th, 2010
Five years ago I furiously penned those words in my journal as I contemplated life—my life…Perhaps, more specifically, what my life was becoming. I have never trusted the status quo. The piecemeal lines about prosperity and cliché’s about God never explained well the reality in which I was raised. The watered down gospel of the American Dream was powerless to sustain me through my childhood and so I sought, out of survival, a truth robust enough to sustain me.
“I just wanna be real. I don’t wanna be a face. I don’t wanna just be beautiful. I wanna have a soul that’s underneath. I wanna be made of something that matters so when I die there will be more that’s gone than just my bones. I wanna be able to touch who I am and not have it rub off on my finger like chock. It may not be flashy but it’s me, it’s who I am, and what I am is real. And even if nobody else in the world wants that from me, I want that from myself. Because without it, this is all just a game of pretend.” – Journal entry March 29th, 2010
There is something pure about the uncompromising search for real life…for real, sustaining truth. It begins with the naive assumption that truth can be quantified in human understanding of facts and ends with a quiet resolution that the Truth is much more like knowing a person than a belief system. Truth, like art, can be told as a conglomeration of facts: It is done in oils, with impressionistic styling in reds and greens…but the facts about art, similarly to the facts of Truth, pale in comparison to experiencing it for yourself.
Isn’t this what Henry Thoreau meant when he began Walden?
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
Life is meant to be experienced. It is meant to be a story lived and breathed in our actions. Leaving no stone unturned. And this story, this search for real life, means that we take risks and believe that the Truth that we find (or perhaps that finds us) will, as any good story does, leave us different at the end from where we were at the beginning. I needed that transformation. I needed to be made a solid person. I needed to believe in the life that I was living and so, not unlike Henry Thoreau, April 1st, 2010 I moved into my car and began a story of Truth finding and life living that is shaping me, even now.