Saturday, March 16, 2013

Walking on Water

The Charles River and The Pleasant Street Bridge
charcoal
16 March 2013
Winter won't go away. A day or two of warm weather last week and I believed Spring was just around the corner. I guess Winter heard me and put an end to that nonsense. I imagine the remaining dirty piles of iron-hard snow are walking into real estate offices and window-shopping at appliance stores for freezers. But there were a few days of wet snow and rain and the river is swollen and the island is covered in roiling, swirling water. I watch where it flows under the bridge and monitor the depth informally by how much of the arches are obscured by water.

I prowl the river's banks and ruminate on the water. It's really tearing along. I toss a few sticks in and they go shooting off to Boston harbor. I imagine stepping out and tumbling into the frigid water. It's black and really cold. Could I walk on it? I've heard that it's possible… in the Bible. But walking on water is totally unnatural and an abomination. It's not possible to just wish away Physics and walk on water. Period. And why would I want to do it?

You would conclude that I am an agnostic or a non-believer. But I go to church all the time and am probably too involved in their business. It's all good but I see no place for miracles in my life …although I succumb to magical thinking all the time. It's a problem for most people I think.

The other night I was driving and narrowly missed hitting a person who was ambling across the dark six-lane highway. My daughter was riding shotgun and I was scanning the illuminated signs and storefronts on the right side. She started making strange noises when she saw the man and I slammed on the brakes and stopped a few feet from his shaggy form. He didn't break his relaxed lope and gazed up at us with no fear or panic. He might have been wearing headphones. It was bizarre. He crossed the road and we continued on our journey home. Was it a miracle? Maybe it depends on how much you stand to lose. There were no witnesses except me and my daughter and the man who chose that moment to stroll across the road. After the shock of it all the experience exists solely as some rearranged neurons in my brain. Happens all the time.

Most things ultimately resist analysis. But it's as if one is desperate to make a withdrawal from the ATM and it's closed for a holiday.  So you root around in your drawers and dishes and jars of pennies and scrape up some sort of explanation for what is essentially unknown void empty of meaning and purpose.

I don't believe in miracles BUT I do believe that I am lucky …sometimes. Sigh… :-p
I hope fate smiles on you too. Today!

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