I like to stand in a shower, like a horse in the racket of the rain. But once, when I was younger and more susceptible, I drew a tub of hot water. I was living with a girlfriend who was already uncomfortable having me around—a disconcerting telescoping of the years I had been married.
Alone for the evening, coughing up phlegm and hoarse, I stepped into the steaming tub. Then a happy thought arose: I would sing a song with a cheerful melody and uplifting lyrics.
But it came out a wailing lamentation.
I stopped and listened to the silence. And I heard how this wailing, accidentally arisen, was how I really felt about my life.
And I let myself wail in earnest.
I had stumbled onto a path that led me out of a dead-end past, and a whole new landscape then hove into view.
Sometimes knowledge shows up just because we step into an unfamiliar space and relax long enough to see time rising off the surface of our lives, like mist blowing off the sea.