James Kavanaugh was propelled to notoriety after an anonymous article he wrote in the Saturday Evening Post became public. It was 1967. His controversial headline? I am a Priest, and I Want to Marry. The book that followed was an immediate best seller and he eventually left the priesthood to write and share his ideas with the world. Kavanaugh wrote his first book of poetry, There are Men Too Gentle to Live among Wolves. The book was initially turned down by a dozen publishers, but has since sold over two million copies, unheard of for a book of poetry.
A priest with no church, a man with a broken marriage, a pauper, a best selling author: he was a man who came to terms with his life of searching and described it beautifully in the prologue to his first book of poetry. I share this with you because I have a theory that readers and writers and travelers share a genetic predisposition that makes us keenly aware of our journey.
“I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.
“We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.
“For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful. It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.”