Sunday, February 5, 2012


When you’re on an island, you must come to terms with the water.  The water that surrounds you on all sides.  The water that you must figure out how to navigate if you are going to get off your island. 

You could take a bridge across.  Up high, out of the mess of it.  High and dry.  Anything could be under that bridge for all you can tell.  All you know is you’re over it.

You could head out onto the water in a boat.  Still dry.  Still safe.  Floating on top.  At the whim of the current, unless you want to steer.  Rudder, paddle or motor, you’ve got to get something down into that water to make a change.

You could jump in and swim.  If you were able.  You could use your skills and your power.  Your experience in the water might tell you to relax into the current sometimes and other times to swim like hell away from the undertow.   But even good swimmers get tired and overwhelmed.  Even good swimmers sometimes feel like they’re drowning.  You can only hold your breath for so long before you’ve got to come up for air or reach out a hand to hold onto something solid.

I can’t stop thinking about my sister this week…it was my little sister’s birthday.  She stands at the water’s edge of her island home this week, and prepares to cross the planet to live on a very different kind of island.  From a paradise off the coast of San Diego to a military base in the far East.  Islands.  Both of them, each in their own way.  One literally surrounded on all sides by water.  The other, flanked by foreignness in every direction.

Life is a little bit like that water.  If you’re going to get off your island you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to do it.  Be ready to take a big breath and jump in.

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