Into the Mystic

April 3, 2020

"And when the foghorn blows, I want to hear it." –Van Morrison

Man, these are foggy, heart-in-throat times. We are sailing, somewhat blind. Do sunlight and a better day lie port or starboard? Do we really have any idea where to go or are we headed, without a rudder, into a mystic?

Sailing into the unknown causes senses to sharpen. Awareness crystallizes. You listen for waves crashing, squint for dark silhouettes, and feel on your face every shift in the wind. You crane and crane and crane again for blue sky. Ironically, in this haze the alert of your worst fears—being perilously close to being crushed ashore or going far out to sea with no safe harbor—might be your best friend. The foghorn’s blow.

We are hearing the foghorn blow. We can't motor or sail or drift out of this turbulent sea for now. We may have nowhere to go to get out of trouble. Except in. Except in.

Last night my family watched old DVDs and VHSs of us 10-20 years ago. Danielle, my wife, had a sense that finding these movies and watching them might be a fun thing to do. It was fun. Not so much the part about hooking up the rust-bucket videotape player, but watching our teenagers watch themselves at one and two and four years old. Danielle and I were blown away by the difference that 12 years make in how you and others look, and, while unspoken, in how you feel. We watched a scene that "back then" replayed for a few years, every summer Sunday at an open-air concert. People dancing, kids eating ice cream, friends shooting the bull. Sitting in low lawn chairs on a grassy meadow sipping cold drinks, with a warm sun on our shoulders. I remarked that "back then" seemed so much more innocent.

The foghorn is blowing. In recent years, we have spent too much time proving our point and chasing, chasing, chasing. It has led us to today, where we have nowhere to go but in. For a couple of hours last night, there was nowhere else I would rather have been. As we sat and laughed and reflected and wondered, we traveled to significance. We wandered in, into the mystic.


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