Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | August 24, 2009

So… Ever Ride with The Searchers?

For a while John Ford’s “The Searchers” was rated THE top flick of all time. Subsequent to my viewing… “Oh he’s watching it, now?”… the shocked critics have of course recanted of the whole cowboy thing, or substituted “Broke Whatever…” as their token nod to the impact of “The West” on Hollywood, and thereby on America and American culture.

"You folks seen my keys?"
“Any you folks seen my keys?”

Me? Well, I never became the cowboy/pilot/astronaut/war hero I thought I would. Never even got on a horse or anything remotely similar. Just got married, went to work, raised a couple of kids and got put out to pasture. “Chewing cud seems to suit ’em, huh?” So my view of “The West” is something of a nostalgic memory of what might have been… which is also something of what’s in the story.  And for me at least, the “pull” is still strong, and the theme… still touches everyday life as I see it… only I’m not looking for “Debbie” (Natalie Wood), but much more mundane stuff. Yet I never miss a chance to stand in a door-way with my arm clasped in the film’s signature visual quote.  It just seems sort of peaceful like.

Like the other night.

There they were. Sitting ’round the old hearth. I wander in. And there’s this news that the car keys have gone missing… again. Back in the day, we had a solution for this kind of rustlin’. Now of course, it wouldn’t be fashionable… so we don’t. Only we still got go out and git ’em from time to time. Guess… an’ beggin’ your pardon for puttin’ myself forward and such…it’s what I’m here for:  Findin’ things. It’s kind of what I’m good at.

That’s of course because of my other purpose in life: Losing things… so I can find them… only to return them… to their earlier state. That’s the state of things that are lost… or at least not found. And that’s ’cause no one even knows they’re missing yet. But they are. And that creates a whole sort of an interim state…y’know… in-between. Like a purgatory for things you’re gonna need sometime soon, but you don’t need right now. So you put them away for that other time, but because the whole is a mess from an altogether different time… where the eternal leaks into the zone of the “now”… your brain is caught in-between instead. And you think about here, but your hand stretches out into the other zone, and puts them down there. It’s as if your mind and your hand are in two realities. It’s confusing, but because you’re walking around as if dead to what you’re doing… you’re not even aware you’re confused. But you are.  So this focus on whatever can’t be found now creates the opportunity for whatever won’t be found next. And it grabs the opportunity… even as your hand puts it down.

Anyone seen my aspirin? And what’d I do with that glass of water… that was right over… here? Oh there it is. Thanks.

Okay. I’m better. Now where were we? Right…  So there I am again… wherever we were when we began this thing. Oh yeah. Sitting at the table. And then they wander in: A couple of the toughest hombres West of the Pecos. ‘Course that’d be my Keys, my Wallet, my Glasses… even that book I was reading that was supposed to be under the bed… only it’s not. And all four look like they just came off the dustiest trail any unshaved, unwashed cowpoke ever walked…’cause he couldn’t find his horse. But as they saunter over, unholstering their six shooters an’ chewin’ on their Marlboro’s (’cause they couldn’t find a match between the four of them) ,  the Keys turn to Wallet and says:

“Think we can take him?”
“I don’t know. I hear he’s pretty fast…”
“Maybe if we get ‘im to move outside…”
“Yeah… you distract him… while I creep up real slow like…”

In the end, these things always seem to turn out the same way, don’t they? Over and over…. every search goes on and on and on… and then only when you’re NOT looking for something… or you’re looking for something else… can you actually find the thing you’re looking for. You put yourself in the right place, and in the right mode… and then you distract yourself from the way you think you’re going to find what you think you’re looking for… and it turns up… because you’ve distracted yourself to focus on searching as if  for the next of kin… if you will.  And there it is… the first thing… your heart’s desire. And it turns up not because you found it, but because you finally slowed down, and allowed its presence to be made known… as if it had been in plain sight all along… for it was. And now your “relaxed” view sees what your over-stressed, over-eager mind earlier could not. And so, as with everything else, I can’t help but wonder whether looking for Christ runs this way as well.


  1. I think that’s what wives are for…to find our stuff and tell us where to find Christ.

  2. Agreed. And whatever it is they miss… and there’s not much… the kids will find… and the daughters let you know “fer sure”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: