I’ve been pulling all-nighters and working like a mad woman on a brief, but, early this morning, aching and taking a hit of coffee the way that I imagine a junkie injects heroin, I came across this picture.
Dawn was just breaking, rainy and beautifully grey, over Columbia’s District. And for a few deep moments, I remembered what’s real.
All day, at odd moments — in between fights with co-counsel, waging politics, comforting secretaries about misplaced footnotes, encouraging associates who’ve done good work, pushing for better answers from the cases — the image kept returning, tugging at me and saying, “There’s a deeper truth here.”
It may be sleep exhaustion talking, but, to me, this picture is about the deeper reality of all of our lives. Every minute of every day. We’re busy paddling along while, silently, the entire time, deep mystery is just beneath us, inhabiting the very waters that hold us up, swimming in communion with us. It’s visible, if we just peer through the water. And the mystery longs for us to dip our fingers into the icy water and to stroke it.
What WAS that whale thinking about the kayack? Am I the leaf, the blossom, or the bole? (Maybe it’s the reference to blear-eyed wisdom born out of its own despair that calls this poem to mind just now.)
May it be so for you.