Side Effects: Act 2 | Stones and Hope

“Before you go, I want you to have these,” Klara says as I’m almost out the door of the house that, by every objective measure, she and her husband Nate shouldn’t own.

She holds two small stones. After a quick take-this gesture, she drops them both into my hand.

“They’re from Lake Gitche Gumee, one of our favorite places in the world,” she says, reverent and wistful. “Have you ever been there?”

I tell her I haven’t, but I do recognize the Ojibwe name of the body of water we call Lake Superior. Not because of any advanced knowledge of Native American languages, but because the term bookended the lyrics of Gordon Lightfoot’s 1976 folk classic The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a haunting elegy about a doomed freighter broken in two by a monstrous Lake Superior storm that claimed all 29 souls aboard.

 

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