I’m not sure I will ever find the object of my life’s direction. This terrifies me. The only word I have ever found that describes my life’s goal is Sehnsucht. A German word for that intense longing for something perfect and whole, something nurturing and essential, that lies elsewhere, somewhere, beyond us, unobtainable.

I’ve written about it before, and how it is the single main force driving my religious life and my life in general. I cannot rest until I’ve found what I’m looking for. What am I looking for? I’m not even sure. But I know I have to find it, and I know that Sehnsucht is the compass. At least I hope it is, because otherwise I have no hope of finding it.

But it’s dawned on me, well and truly, that I may never find it. And that is terrifying and soul-crushing.

Assuming the source of my Sehnsucht is tied to some geography, some place in my ancestral memory or spiritual homeland (wherever in Thor’s name that is), I have to go abroad to find it. I have to travel. I have to figure out how to find it, and I have to take time to go out and do it.

But what if I never have time? What if I never have the money? What if I don’t know how to find it?

Worse, what if there’s nothing to find? What if this intense, torturous, painful longing is just an artifact of being human?

If that’s the case, I will never be at peace. I will always be looking over the next hill. I will always be searching. What’s the point in living if life will be that way?

“Just be content with what you have.” I cannot be. Not when there is something so profound that is calling to me.

The other possibility, I suppose, is that the peace to be found is not in any place or memory, but simply within myself. Finding that, of course, is an impossible task. I may make progress. I may even no longer tear my hair out in desperation. But reaching the Source is probably like reaching Nirvana. And I can’t think how to do it apart from meditation and introspection. To be at peace.

I despise this life and I despise being human.


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