Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Tourists; that’s what we are becoming

Posted by Chris on October 18, 2007

I am reading a book the postmodernity and the Church called Above all Earthly Pow’rs by David Wells. Since taking anthropology courses at UNC I’ve always enjoyed reading perspectives on culture and that’s essentially what the book is. I’ve thought about excerpting it on the blog several times and finally am compelled to do so. He’s talking about the new movement of spirituality and one author’s comparison that it is a journey and organized religion a dwelling. Wells says that a more apt comparison is that the new spiritualities are more like a tourists—they are passing through, unrelated to their fellow travelers, there for pleasure and entertainment.

Speaking of tourists, I don’t like being one. I try not to act like one and I don’t really enjoy it. I insist to people here that I am not a tourist, like it makes any difference. Anyway, Wells inserts the following poem by Mark Greene and I like it.

Tourists; that’s what we are becoming…
Tourists, we move through life, flitting from idea to idea, from
novelty to novelty, from new person to new person,
Never settling, always moving…
Selecting the best sights, the highlights, the choice cuts, avoiding the mess on the edge of town, the slums, all the
uncomfortable things, the struggle of really knowing people,
Never settling, always moving lest we hear the hollow clang of our own emptiness…
Tourists; that’s what we are becoming…
Inquisitive, curious, picking up the tidbits of other people’s depth…
Tourists, flicking through our snapshots, the paper thin
trophies of our click and run existence, filing them away, loading the next roll of film,
Never settling, always moving,
Tourists; that’s what we are becoming,
Tourists; that’s what we are becoming…

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