On Steering Troubled Waters

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.

Martin Luther King, Jr

The New Year has gotten off to a rocky start. I am not sure if there is something in the water, sand, or air (or maybe my margaritas), but it seems that everywhere I turn, things are veering off course. I set my sail to go east, and I am blown north; I try to dock in a safe harbor, only to be turned away. I am not the only one who has had a number of significant challenges, and I hear of many troubles from friends and family. Last year started off with promise and hope, but for many ended with anxiety, stress, illness, heartache, loss. And instead of being abated with the ringing in of a New Year at midnight, things seem to have been snowballing into ever spiraling chaos. So far, this year has yielded no easy pathway. I cannot see clearly as a fog has rolled in, shrouding not only the way but taking away the image of what can be. There is nothing.

So as I sit here at my laptop, working away to set up or implement contingency plans in my life, I listen to one of my favorite songs: “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” by Simon and Garfunkel. And I think, as I sigh and shake off the doldrums once more, I will move forward what I can control, and reach out blindly in the darkness with my best bet of which way to go. I have faith that a bridge to safety will appear when I need it most, to reach safely to the other side not for myself, but those who depend on me. I don’t practice religion and I am not sure there’s a god, but I believe in love, hope, and that there’s always a chance. A chance to be a better person, a chance to fulfill a dream, a chance to experience new wonders. As long as I have breath, as long as I apply all my talents and skills, I will keep learning to navigate the infinite oceans before me. And today, if I squint my eyes to the horizon, I see a glimmer of the setting sun where the fog is lifting. And as the stars come out of hiding, peeking out every so often from behind the mist, I count my blessings, pull close those I love, bow my head, and sail on.

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