Jesus Was A Sailor

It’s early in the morning, hours before false dawn. A full moon streams a wake of light across the landscape – dead grass and a split rail fence, the dark copse of conifers standing in the wetlands, and the stump of an old madrone bleached the color of bone. It’s silent except for an occasional car rushing for an early ferry, the distant sound of tires on pavement like the chant of Tibetan monks. This is the holy hour of darkness before the day begins.

For some reason the lyrics from Leonard Cohen’s song Suzanne persist in my head.

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said "All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them."

I’m now over half a century old, old enough to have seen wars flair and gutter like brush fires, powerful men rise and fall, cultures collapse, and wisdom fail. It is an unexpected perspective. I never thought I’d live so long but from here I can view my youthful arrogance with less passion, if not dispassion. I begin to understand how resilient we are and how terribly vulnerable.

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