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Fog Horn

28 Jun


Two hundred miles south of Newfoundland, we sail into a fog bank and the captain sounds the ship’s horn. It is a beautiful, low bass tone, sounding every few seconds as we move through the fog.

Looking over the railing at the melded gray expanse of water and sky, listening to the hypnotic resonance of the ocean liner’s horn, I consider how civilized it is for a powerful nautical behemoth to warn smaller weaker ships when it is moving around in the fog.

I think of all the times I have collided with unfortunate experiences when my senses and perceptions-—or someone else’s–were compromised. I think of all the times I have drifted around in a mist of my own vaporous emotions, stumbling into one negative relationship after another.

If only all of life’s dangerous entities came with warnings—bells, whistles, horns, sirens, beeps. If only we humans were honest enough to alert each other with as much grace as oceangoing vessels.

If only we could know our own dimensions, our own strength and potential to harm, and be able to say to one another, when necessary and true: You had better stay back, change course, let me go, sail away with all of your strength into open seas and fairer skies.

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