Without a map

Along the northern shore of Lake Michigan… a pic taken at a stop along the way to somewhere else… a chance to stretch our legs and see what there was to see.

I was struck by the familiar… the feel of the wind in my hair and dunes dotted with tansies. I filled the pockets of my jeans with tiny purple mussels cast ashore and wondered at a sea without salt and waves without a tide.

Explorers believed the world had an edge and they could fall off if they went wrong.

I think they were right.

This world is full of edges and falls. That horizon might be a new world or it could be a cliff.

Still, this is true.

I look around me and find the horizon is only a line drawn in the sky… a kind of dare.

For navigating… there’s the fear map that directs me back to shore where it’s safe and dry and comfortable. But following that map means going backwards. And backwards causes my heart to sink, really.

Always, there’s the straight line, the *I know exactly where I mean to be* map. I keep thinking I can somehow convince myself of this, so long as I keep both hands on the wheel and don’t let my hair become undone.

Mostly I’ve given up on that, lately. My record at trying to control the world ain’t so great, plus it makes my shoulders hurt.


Instead I find myself wandering willy-nilly, easily distracted and with too much play in the steering wheel as I look at the sky… my heart and my head in their own happy argument… an argument that’s sweetly wrong, but which pushes me into trouble at awkward times and which laughs me through disaster.

Who can deny it?

“Breathe,” I keep telling myself. Feel. See. It seems simple, but is so very, very hard.

I keep forgetting.

The sea reminds me. This sea. The waves pound it at me, each a different ride, each a different possibility of diving or floating, of swimming or drifting.

The world insists itself like a lover. “Take me. Take this moment… this, now.”

5 thoughts on “Without a map”

  1. Everyone I know who grew up along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan – or probably any of those Great Lakes, including myself, are forever conflicted .. go, stay, come back ..??

    Have you seen “Somewhere in Time”? Part looking over to Mackinac Island … perfect music for the area and it’s mystery.

    Good you did not go over to Beaver Island .. off of north Lake Mich. .. they say .. “You get the sands of the Beaver in your shoes, it never gets out!”

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