|Art, The Whale, by Terry Fan, works found here.|
In his short story, "The Night the Bed Fell on Father," James Thurber wrote of a character who piled her belongings outside the bedroom door at night with instructions that any burglars take what they wanted and not use their chloroform on her. We are fragile vessels on endless, unknowable seas taking what precautions we can and hoping for the best. Such a grain, a particle of what exists falls within our scope, so much is unseen.
On a solo Alaskan hunting trip in what I imagine to be a vast snowy wasteland, my uncle Ray was, after a number of days, picked up as had been arranged. When the pilot landed, he told Ray that he could see from the air what Ray could not have known: that he was being stalked by a polar bear. This may be family myth, I may have misremembered all or part of it, but the whale painting called it to mind.
I experience life as an act of faith, an unspooling continuum in which what we must know next somehow finds us, steps forward, states its name. So much of the unseen is the good, which may leave itself like notes written in a spidery and nearly illegible hand tucked under a corner of the doormat. A whiff of night-blooming jasmine, possibly imagined for the plant is no longer there, drifting through the second floor window. Our sight is enhanced by distance of time and space. I've heard often in 12-step meetings, "More will be revealed." And it will, it is. Meanwhile, unless we wish to suffer needlessly, we operate as advised by Rainer Maria Rilke:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
Note to self: befriend the unseen. Think of ways in which to do this.