Monday, November 14, 2011

Pirates in the Mist, A Siren's Song, and Me

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Given the mist almost too thick to see through, the bones scattered around, and Jack Black's wide-open eyes, you knew nothing good was asunder. Sirens lurked in the water. Legend had it that both their beauty and song were enough to kill a man. The rich appeal was enough to make many a man risk life and limb to possess them.

If you've seen the movie, you know the sirens appeared as mermaids of translucent, shimmering beauty. Until they revealed themselves for what they were and looked more like underfed piranhas intent on their first big meal in a decade or so. The battle became one of life and death as the greedy men became believers in the warnings they'd heard.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Son #1 and I were talking about life, the universe, and lots of things. Re-entry into his old world has been fraught with challenges. He's been ready to abandon ship and take off for the wild blue yonder again. I told you so. Once given the freedom to fly, no one feels good being tethered to the earth again. “Why,” he asked, “does life have to be like this? It wasn't like this in Australia. Things were calm and peaceful not one drama after another!”

Oh, Obi-wan....where is Yoda when you need him? I let his frustration come rushing out waiting until it was my turn. How do you let the young ones down easy? How can you tell them the truth without breaking their spirit? I smiled a wan smile and did my best.

Life is messy. The only reason it wasn't messy 'down under' is because you didn't carry your life with you. In a funny way, you had an intermission from life. You had huge responsibilities to the client corporation. Yet, you were far enough from home that the normal cares of life got lost in the fog and mist.” Then, I reminded him of some days at the office when tensions ran high. He had been immune because the source of the tensions didn't concern him. Good job – if you can get it!

Pecos, NM 2011
I long to escape to a land that would paint reality with the picturesque implication of a stress free environment brush. I get a glimpse when I visit a place like New Mexico. Surely, if we moved there, life would be grand. Until...the mountain temperature plummeted and the winds begin to howl. Then, I would long for the sandy shores of some tropical retreat. Until...the clouds of a Cat 5 hurricane began to build as winds began to build. The winds of life are messy. They follow us no matter where we go.

When we are riding along, my husband and I will muse about how the places we pass look like the kinds of places you'd want to stay. I laugh. “Just the picturesque implication of a stress free environment,” I say. “We'd be the same people when we got here...with the same stresses and strains. When we blew in on the winds of chaos, we'd pull down the real estate value instantly.”

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Such is the call of the siren's song. “Psst. Here. Come over here! Life'll be better over here!” The spotless future taunts us every time we catch a fleeting glimpse. The beauty is almost translucent. We strain harder thru the mist in hopes we can catch up before it's too late.

In a world where commercialism and instantaneous gratification sing to us several times an hour, there is always a siren in the mist. Stoking our fires of discontent. Prodding us to want more. Whetting our desire to get more with less effort.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Where is the perfect curriculum that will frustrate our homeschooled kids the least and require the least preparation on our part? Where is the spouse that will do more and require less? Where is the diet or supplement that will negate habits, metabolism, and biology? Where is the school that will require as little of us as possible but educate our children well enough to compete in a global economy? Where are the people that will fill the churches with spotless parents whose flawless children don't present messes that have to be cleaned up in the process of learning, living and growing. Where is the government that will be all and do all relieving its people of personal responsibility? Where, oh where, is the siren in the mist?

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
The siren's sweet call is enough to drive a man mad. The cottony dampness of restlessness, discontent, and aimlessness breeds endless searching for the next, newest, best thing. Before we know it, our greed overcomes us and that which we desire possesses us. The translucent beauty that beckons has become the emaciated piranha that threatens to devour us. Our searching and hoping leaves us as drained and weary as if we'd been in battle with the pirates trying to escape the trap of the sirens in the midst. God rest our weary souls from sirens in the mist.

Matthew 11:30 (Amplified Bible)
For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good--not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
Courtesy B. Creasy

1 John 5:3 (Amplified Bible)
For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous).


  1. The problem with running away is you have to take yourself with you! Great writing CA, I love reading your stuff!

  2. Thanks, Mary Nett! I love knowing you are reading my stuff given your busy, busy life!