Homeward Bound

by compound complex 2 Replies latest jw friends

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Having once again (but certainly not for all time) pulled himself out and beyond the anxious care of making a living, Reggie settled into a more tranquil existence of puttering about the old homestead. His unhurried schedule now permitted ample time for reading, a soupcon of trying his hand at baking and a generous portion of carefree hours spent his mind in neutral while strolling the grounds in search of an epiphany hiding amidst the trees and shrubs. By no means having landed a sinecure to prosper him up into perpetuity, the middle-aged man nonetheless chose to lie low and avoid the extravagant life-style that demanded punching a clock daily. It would seem, therefore, that Reggie's conscious withdrawal from pursuits outside the security of hearth and home should afford him some solace, if not the immediacy of a newfound purpose in life.

    Perhaps it was the only recently escaped rush of life and commitment to the needs of others less able that kept the weary social worker's spirits buoyant though, admittedly, ready to sink at a moment's notice. "I love what I do, but TGIF!" a harried but normally outgoing and uncomplaining Reggie frequently said to himself (and infrequently within earshot of his fellow workers). They admired their workmate's industry, though they were not quite so keen on displaying a comparably strong work ethic. His peers, under the same pressure as Reggie, could relate to his good-humored griping. Troubling to Reggie's conscience was his wishing the weekend were longer or the work week shorter, however logically that conundrum should unravel and show an obvious, satisfying solution. He couldn't just walk away permanently from career and service to the needy ...

    Or could he?

    Whether blessing or bane, being needed by others is reality. Reggie was impressed early on (by parents zealous for charity toward all) with the necessity of actively seeking the welfare of those less fortunate souls inhabiting the wrong side of the tracks. His family, too, were denizens of that very neighborhood. The young boy was not aware that his parents were poor, however. After all, an industrious father did put a slightly leaky roof over his head and a tireless mother did feed him three nearly squares a day. It never failed that another person - or entire family with multiple mouths to feed - was downer-and-outer than they. It was simply unthinkable not to provide a bag of groceries or a couple bucks to put 8 gallons of the regular into the gas tank of some old Nash belonging to a cashless neighbor. That compassionate ethic likely accounted for this married team's ability to sleep well most nights. Reggie, on the other hand, was torn over whether or not he should take a leave of absence from the career he was groomed for. Unlike his now deceased parents, whose slumber was perpetual, the exhausted social worker's mental wrestling match of self-sacrifice versus self-indulgence permitted him little sleep.

    The music playing over the radio, whose tinge of melancholia was staining deeply Reggie's already languishing spirit, served, nevertheless, to solidify his resolve to make a choice. The tune, though meandering somewhat through a melodically minor soundscape, moved inexorably toward a sunny resolution of harmonic consonance. Harmony - in one's music, one's life.

    Wanting the best of both worlds but living in two distinctly different neighborhoods, as it were, is a near impossibility. The logistics of keeping a hand in the work that nourished one's ever-hungry inner self - one's core - and struggling to maintain some guilt-free personal time simply had to be worked out. Something's going to give. That much is certain.

    Will Reggie take realistic steps toward a more balanced lifestyle and avoid a total meltdown?

  • cameo-d

    At the end of the day, Reggie comes to a realization...


    The missing song was his.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Many thanks, cameo:

    Believe it or not, I was trying recently to remember a scene in Crossroads that I had to see again but couldn't recall. You found and posted it!

    I'm going to view the film again to see if Reggie's epiphany is there on stage rather than hiding in some neighborhood flora.



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