A week at the lake”: this is a Minnesota phrase denoting a retreat into mystery, indisposition, vacation, or retreat. It’s our all-purpose excuse and explanation. We have no missing persons in this state, they’re pressured to be “at the the lake.” People from outside may puzzle about it: “What lake? Where?” We don’t even know how to process these questions, which interrupt our retreat into mist, otherness, wrensong, somewhere “up north.