Walker Percy at 100 -
Did you ever wake up in the morning and wonder just what has gone wrong?
Yes, I know. The water runs clearly, friendly faces chat about good news, pills slaughter your germs, back seats bulge with mall loot, and chocolate-chip bagels are but a few steps away.
Isn’t it the best of all possible worlds? You’d rather be a sixth-century Visigoth or an Aztec virgin preparing for her sacrificial duty, maybe?
But there it is, nonetheless, tugging at what some still suggest is your soul. A suspicion that something has gone awry, that in this age of the fit, the prosperous, and the wired, someone has neglected to tell you something important.
And the science—oh, that science. It prolongs your life, brings wonders into your home and explains everything that mystified those impoverished ancients. Everything, that is, except for one thing, as writer Walker Percy puts it:
How indeed is one to live in this peculiar time and history and on ordinary Wednesday afternoons?
Yes, you suspect, there is something wrong, for there are those moments when you realize that modern life, culture, and knowledge have left you without something most fundamental: a satisfying understanding of just who you are and why you are here, in this place, watching the sun put one more day of your life in the past. You must be more than a mere organism or an insatiable, endlessly manipulable consumer. You must be. You must.