I do have an Instagram account. It started off because I wanted to see photos posted by my friends and family. I was very happy that there was not the political unrest and mudslinging as on Facebook, which I started long ago for the same reason. Facebook has its pitfalls, but I must admire that it helps people to connect with others and even to find support systems previously unattainable.

I began to look at posts by interior designers, architects, a man who loves cold water swimming in Scotland, as well as some absolutely adorable little Dachshunds! Have you seen the little Scottish one dressed in a kilt in front of castles? Oh, my.

If you have read my blog, you could surmise that I love all-things-Loki. I chanced upon the Instagram of the actor who played “old” or “classic” Loki in the Disney-produced series. I recognized him as the actor who played the character in Downton Abbey, Simon Bricker, who was punched by Lord Grantham when found in Lady Grantham’s bedroom. Prior to seeing him in Downton Abbey, my American eyes don’t remember any works by him, but I learned that he was very well-known and loved in the UK and elsewhere. Richard E. Grant played Bricker extremely well, but I was blown away by his performance in the Loki series. He was witty, vulnerable, commanding, and heroic to perfection. The intensity of his finale stays with me.

Since then, I learned that his loving wife of 40 years passed away in 2021. There is a raw intimacy in his Instagram posts, close-up videos of his face, allowing us to see into his grief journey, and it is gripping. His smile lights up your heart, if not the room, and is guaranteed to lift my spirits (and obviously those of his many followers) when it flashes brightly. His authenticity is genuine and truly a gift.

I mean to read his latest memoir when released, A Pocketful of Happiness. His wife Joan knew that he would suffer after she passed away, and commissioned him to try to find a “pocketful of happiness” in each and every day of his life. He has remained faithful to the quest. Perhaps knowing that he journals every day and is an author, intrigues me more than his even his acting. See what you think of his Instagram.

Life is a journey. Recently I’ve written contemplatively about when it just does not go the way we have planned. And more surprises have visited upon my family. We will react, each in our own ways, and we will stay strong when push comes to shove. We will lament and cry, rage and sulk, but we will love each other as best as we can. We will accept the kindness offered, the prayers and support of friends and family. Granted, we will find those pockets full of happiness, which when looked for, abound.

Into the Unknown

Newton, Einstein, Eisenberg, Curie, Johnson, Leaky, Carter, St. Brendan, Columbus, Lewis, Armstrong; what have they in common? Whether inward, outward, down or up, from microscope to telescope, coracle to Apollo 11, something drove these history-makers, these explorers. Some might have said that their inspiration was pure curiosity and others would say that they felt an inspiration from God.

Captain Kirk, Jean Luc Picard, Moana, Elsa–television and movies are rife with inspiring characters compelled by passion or a force that could not be ignored, try as they might. I have written about the sequel Frozen 2 and one of the main characters, Anna. Now it is Elsa’s turn. Often a good person must struggle with wrong-doing or past mistakes. This struggle could become what defines them, or it could be the ashen rock-bottom from which a Phoenix rises.

In the original movie Elsa accidentally injures her little sister Anna by her powers to freeze things. During play she sends a freezing ray out to try to save Anna from falling but it hits Anna in her head instead, injuring her brain. She does not know how this power came to be, and since it potentially kills her sister her parents work with her to hide it for years. By the end of the movie she has accepted it and learned that love is the way to control her power; to overcome her fear and use it for good.

In the sequel, she and Anna are going to bed and remember their deceased parents who were lost in a shipwreck. They sing the lullaby their Mother sang to them as they were tucked into bed. Elsa awakens later that night to a beautiful voice singing to her. It pulls her to the window and to the sea like a siren song. Elsa sings “Into the Unknown,” its lyrics perhaps reminiscent to anyone who has been called to explore. Some may have resisted the call, like Elsa. Practicality, parents’ aspirations, responsibilities, lack of funds, complacency, procrastination, shame of selfishness, or fear naturally make us pause, putting the journey off for a time or entirely.

“I can hear you (but I won’t)
Some look for trouble while others don’t
There’s a thousand reasons I should go about my day
And ignore your whispers which I wish would go away, oh…

You’re not a voice, you’re just a ringing in my ear
And if I heard you (which I don’t) I’m spoken for I fear
Everyone I’ve ever loved is here within these walls
I’m sorry, secret siren, but I’m blocking out your calls

I’ve had my adventure, I don’t need something new
I’m afraid of what I’m risking if I follow you…

Into the unknown
Into the unknown, Into the unknown
(Oh) What do you want? ‘Cause you’ve been keeping me awake
Are you here to distract me so I make a big mistake?
Or are you someone out there who’s a little bit like me?
Who knows deep down I’m not where I’m meant to be?
Every day’s a little harder as I feel your power grow
Don’t you know there’s part of me that longs to go…

Into the unknown?
Into the unknown, Into the unknown
(Oh) Are you out there?
Do you know me?
Can you feel me?
Can you show me? Oh!”

Elsa has worked through the denial and acknowledges within herself that she wants to go. We each decide for ourselves, when faced with a call like this in our lives. Is this journey one I was meant to go on all along? Will it complete me? Will it help me to find others like me–or that others are like me? Is it just a desire or is it God?

“(Ah) Where are you going? Don’t leave me alone
How do I follow you”

Elsa goes–and she finds the answers to her questions. As a result, her sister Anna finds her own destiny, and humanity is saved because of it.

For interior quests and external, for researchers, archaeologists, theologians, parents, philanthropists, ordinary people…each of us has a unique call in this life. Elsa followed a spirit and found that she was part of that spirit, the force that animates the world. As much as it took a journey outward it completed the circle back, inwardly. Perhaps God uses ways which are individual to each of us to call us back to where we are meant to be–Immanuel. We realize that everything from that point on is different, changed for the good of ourselves and others.

“Into the unknown?”