the unnamed feeling

I'm frantic in your soothing arms
I cannot sleep in this down-filled world
I've found safety in this loneliness
But I cannot stand it anymore

Yesterday on my drive to the farm, I noticed these lines in Metallica's "The Unnamed Feeling." They reminded me of my comments about the "suburban" quest for comfort and security, a quest that leads to isolation and a life so insulated against threat and challenge that it becomes meaningless.

In my last entry I wrote: "The worst part is that most people have a pretty good intuition that such a life is all vanity." Which leads back to the lyrics I just quoted. Because sensing, even vaguely, that our life has become empty and meaningless inevitably results in a feeling of deep anxiety (as it should, since such a life is spiritually perilous). We may try to escape this feeling through activity or entertainment or medication, but this just intensifies the frivolity of our lives, and the unnamed feeling remains underneath. Waiting for us.

I've seen the evidence of this in people, especially as they near the end of life, when they have a harder time distracting themselves. The blessing of old age, I think. It takes everything else away so we're forced to face ourselves.

The only solution I see is to offer our lives to God, who can make our lives meaningful. But this means abandoning the quest for comfort and security, a radical change in the way we live. Look at Jesus' life. Not exactly the suburban ideal...