I saw signs in the flight of birds. “Auspices” the ancient seers had called the signs, who had made their observations to advise emperors in leading nations. If they were crazy, the majority of mankind had followed lunatics.

In the Bible, I could find no instance of the prophets consulting pelicans to lead them, but all heard voices and saw visions. All had suffered terribly for announcing themselves, doing as they were told. So I kept my mouth shut and pretended to think things through: reason, deduce, and decide. I did a fair job of approximating rational behavior, acting on signs and wonders. I did not know what I believed. I was just trying to find my way through the swamps to the Mississippi River.

Along and along and along, going seven miles an hour, in and out of Lake Charles, through the locks of New Orleans, down the Mississippi, along the coastal belly of America, through the Mississippi Sound, to Mobile, Alabama; where the Dog River emptied into Mobile Bay, I tied up at a rag-tag marina.


Photo credit: Salvagenation via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA