Listen To The Lake

I’m learning the many moods of Lake Michigan. It seems that each day it has an entirely different character. One day it is angry and steely grey with waves crashing against the shore like an ocean. One day it is as still as a Zen meditation. Regardless of the Lake’s mood, I am drawn to the shore to engage with it. Today I closed my eyes to feel the autumn sun radiate off the surface. “Don’t get used to this,” it whispered, gentle waves lapping the shore. “I know better,” I replied and smiled. The Lake is fickle. So am I.

With each new mood comes a dramatically different color palette that ranges through greens to turquoise to the deep purples. Sometimes the color is soothing, sometimes it is electrifying, and sometimes it is an assault. I’ve come to believe that the Lake’s color functions like a mask: it sometimes reveals the Lake’s mood and sometimes obscures it. Sometimes the Lake invites people to play and sometimes like the witch in a children’s book coerces people into a trap. The Lake teaches both faith and wariness.

Standing by the Lake I am reminded of something that I read many years ago. We are mostly monotheistic so we carry the expectation that we, like our god, have a single identity and are plagued by many moods. That is not true the world over. Cultures (like the ancient Greeks) that worship many gods have no such expectation. They allow that they have as many identities as the gods they worship. Their gods are forces of nature and they recognize that those forces are alive and expressing through them. The wind, the thunder, the quaking earth, the changing seasons, the rain, the fertile fields,…, are forces personified. Their moods, their emotions, are akin to being possessed by a god-spirit. Love is a possession. Inspiration is a visit with a Muse. They need to pay attention to their relationship with these forces (they have a relationship with these forces), to stay in the good graces of the fickle gods.

I’ve decided that the Lake is one of the old gods and I need to pay attention to my relationship with it. I like the notion that it has the power to inspire me, possess me, frustrate me, and fill me with laughter. I know its sister, the north wind, has the power to refresh me or chill me to the bone and, of course, the driver of the sun chariot graces me with warmth and music.

For a humorous look at the wonderful world of innovation and new ventures, check out my new comic strip Fl!p and the gang at Fl!p Comics.

One Response

  1. I enjoyed the imagery of your words. 🙂

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