Today my facebook feed sent me an article entitled, "Top 20 Places to Retire."
Based on what?
I am semi-retired.
We are semi-retired.
But we are actual people.
The top 20 places for us to retire would not be based on statistics, but on relations.
Do people we love live nearby?
Does someone we love need us nearby?
Is there some mission or charism of ours that is nearby?
I am not like every other 63-year-old, every other male, every other white person, every other veteran, every other married person, every other delocalized, generic (name your demographic taxa nome).
You are not either. You are not a straight, white, middle-aged female . . . or whatever intersection you choose on whatever table. You do not live in a chart. You are so-and-so's brother or sister, or X's friend or lover, or Y's wife, or Z's father, or another's uncle/aunt/next-door-neighbor/hired help . . . you are, I am, each of us is, embedded.
I have a specific job with specific people, obligations and covenants with particular histories. I have a 90-year-old mother and a one-year-old granddaughter. I have a garden that demands my attention, an incomplete novel, something on the stove right now, a meeting next week, a dog (a four-year-old pug, that was given to us by people who had to move [on a particular day at a particular address], named Ace) that will have to be walked, a letter that needs writing.
How does one's personhood get sucked into the vortex of endless, compulsive abstraction? What are all the ways that I myself have been trained . . . indoctrinated . . . habituated . . . into doing this to myself? Looking for myself on statistical scatterplots. Looking from the outside-in for dangers, deviance, symptoms, progress, regress . . .
How can I - thus disembodied - possibly grasp the significance, the strangeness, the utter miraculous wonder of Incarnation?