Magnetic North is moving 40 miles a year – a pole on a slow stroll scaring everyone, making True North an empty suggestion. When explorers finally reach the Geographic North Pole, their compasses tell them to keep moving. When I lived in Oregon a man told me he threw a bag of joints and his Fender guitar in a dumpster behind a strip mall the day he was blessed with the power to heal. His first miracle happened while volunteering at the Snake River Correctional Institute. The man reversed the ingrown toenails of an inmate who slaughtered three families in a small town outside of Klamath Falls. The murderer was so thankful he gave his life to Jesus on the spot, behind the bars. And yesterday my friend called to tell me that since his wife moved out he’s been looking for God. I thought of him this morning while I watched the puddle in the backyard grow and muddy. I remembered us eating mushrooms along a creek somewhere in the Upper Peninsula, smoking weed out of a punctured beer can. We rummaged around the woods; we laid down in deer beds. We tried to sink into the pine carpet. And in the evening we fished and my friend wept when he finally caught a trout. He no longer wanted the pumping gills, the swallowed hook, blood slowly rising from the throat. We’re always finding and losing. I can’t tell him we’re all doomed to fall like vultures in the same looping mess. It never has been about the end, but rather the circling. Because to keep moving means another shot at the Ivory Billed Woodpecker, maybe nicking over the last milk bottle at the county fair. It means more than beer in beer cans, and the rain pooling near the grill will expand to new bodies of water.

 

 

 

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© Rob Kenagy