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Inner Peace: Comedians in cars getting enlightened

Who would believe that the existential ache of all humanity would be uttered so dispassionately by Jerry Seinfeld and Howard Stern over a simple cup of coffee (“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”) — two individuals who, in the world of “having it all” truly Have–It-All — the king of comedy and king of radio, both men acerbically gloating about the pleasures of power, success, and endless privilege on earth — yet even in their cynical boastings, something still is lacking in their lives, something too confounding even for these “kings.”

After gloating about their covers of Mad magazine and the notion of finally “making it,” Jerry and Howard pause between sips of coffee, whereby Jerry reflects, “It’s so funny how it works, to get to that point, to get to that thing, and you don’t want it. Why is life so fing twisted?”

To which, Howard responds, “I don’t know. I figured you had the answer.”

End of scene.

Thank you, Jerry; thank you, Howard — for exemplifying so clearly the eternal restlessness of every man and reminding us again of St. Augustine’s sanctifying quote: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”

Ahh — that restless Ache. That wonderfully, unsatisfying Ache that impels every soul to seek something greater than its own selfish end.

And isn’t it wonderful to have that Ache, that unfulfilled longing for something greater than the small little “me”? Isn’t it wonderful that in the end, nothing satisfies — no power or honor or pleasure — nothing quenches our existential thirst other than a relationship with God!

Turn to this Ache. That Ache that both seeks and finds. Ache to return to your Source. The Ache to commune with your Creator God and to the Spirit of Mercy within. Ache to give it all away, to alleviate the sufferings of others. Ache to fill yourself with Light and service and purpose, beyond every earthly measure. Then you will be Satisfied. Eternally Satisfied.

So may I suggest, on the next coffee run, Jerry and Howard skip the fun ride and arrive early to prepare to serve coffee and a bounty of hearty, satisfying meals to 300 suffering souls at Saint Vincent DePaul’s Kitchen — daily. Perhaps there, inside a humble, hard-working kitchen, so far removed from the privileges of life, these two celebrated men could find something greater than being called media kings. Perhaps — even among the clatter of pots and pans — they’d find real joy and a greater wisdom to say, “Yes, now I do know.”

THIRST (from God Songs)

I seek the Thirst of a sinner-saint.

No difference between the two.

The Thirst for rest, to feel so blessed,

The Thirst for Ever-You.

We drink of everything but Truth,

And for a time it seems,

The world and all her oysters,

Fill every hope and dream.

Until the cup of bitterness,

Turns our Thirst to silt,

The taste of shame, the taste of blame,

The taste of human guilt,

Brings us to drink, Thy Chaliced Heart

of Waters ever pure.

Of Bread and Wine, Thy Cup Divine,

My Thirst now ever Yours.

Joyce Mary Graham is a happy volunteer at St. Vincent DePaul’s kitchen (Thursday crew!) and author of God Songs, https://www.amazon.com/God-Songs.

A banner made for the Peace Fence in 2007 that is now on a tile in front of the Ashland library.