There’s a story here. Bigger. Broader than I can ever see.

A dock slick and tempered beneath my sandaled feet.  I hear the moan of the fog horn off a ways. I watch the green-gray of the water slap.  I see in front of me steel, slate steel. Just inches from my nose. IMG_0263Behind my own eyes.

If someone didn’t tell me this was an ocean liner, I wouldn’t know. And I take them at their word. It could be a battleship.

Today,  a young woman is still missing, and FBI agents scour the mountain across from my own. A friend hired by my father climbs a 25 foot ladder to paint my 100-year-old farm house. Billions of 0s and 1s zoom into this piece of silver plastic on my grandfather’s antique desk.

And I color a mandala, precisely because it is what calms me. What focuses me. What helps me know that it is only the steel at the end of my nose that I can attend to well.

“Bird by bird” is what Lamott calls it. Write what you can see in a 2×2 picture frame, she says.

I want to pull it all in, tie it all up, neat and tidy, that quintessential brown paper packet with a twine ribbon. Or wild, like a skein of yarn tangled with twigs and, oh dear Lord, the strands of a young woman’s hair.

But I cannot. Too heavy. I’m trying to pull that ocean liner up on shore like a canoe.

So I color each tiny swoop and epaulette, wishing I had more blues and greens to choose from but making due with the shades at hand, with the words I have today just inches from me.

Sorrow. Gray-green. Lush. Fear. Hope.