But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life;
A thirst to spend our fire and restless force
In tracking out our true, original course;
A longing to inquire
Into the mystery of this heart which beats
So wild, so deep in us – to know
Whence our lives come and where they go.
–Matthew Arnold, from “The Buried Life”
How fitting that I should have come upon this passage today while I was prepping for a mythology lesson in a book stamped with the name of the high school in Missoula, Montana, where I did my student teaching. Missoula is the place I went to satisfy my unspeakable desires and to spend my fire and restless force and to track my true, original course. I don’t live there anymore, literally and metaphorically, and sometimes I have to work hard to remember to how important it is to do those Missoula things. My unspeakable desires are, more or less, quite speakable these days, and spending my fire and restless force means that somebody in my house has to sacrifice something, but I’m still tracking my true, original course. If I find it, I’ll let you know.