Monday, July 03, 2006

Two ships in the night

I've always been moved by nautical analogies.

That's why, probably, I redesigned this blog site several months ago with a lighthouse theme. It's also one thing I love about being associated with the E.W. Scripps Co. -- that lighthouse logo -- a beacon on the hill.

Told someone recently that I've always loved, too, the spiritual analogy of one's life being a ship at sea -- and all those songs that play on that theme. (My favorite is Ronnie Hinson's "The Lighthouse.")

Here's a different kind of nautical story.

He saw her across the room yesterday for the first time in several years. They do not know each other at all, really. Have exchanged nothing more than a half dozen smiles and hellos in a decade.

He remembered being drawn to her in that mysterious way you sometimes just are, not so much because of physical beauty, although she possesses it, but more from a feeling you get sometimes that you just can't explain. From something stirred deep inside.

Tried to make eye contact a few times. Didn't happen. Noticed while talking to others that she appeared to be looking his way from time to time. Couldn't be sure, though.

Looks like she's married now, or at least in some kind of relationship. That was good to see. She seemed happy, or at the very least, content. Her face belied a sense of peace.

The sun began to set, yellow giving way to red and pink; evening was nigh. He wanted to speak, but it just didn't seem to be the thing to do.

Finally their eyes met. He smiled. She waved and quickly looked down. He waved back, uncertain if she even saw.

How would Hemingway have put it? "When I saw her... everything turned over inside me."

She walked quietly across the room and was gone. He left wishing he'd once said more, back when he often sailed these waters and frequented this port.

Instead they set off, content to follow their courses, two ships passing in the night.

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