By the River

Beneath the falls. What’s the meaning?

How many drops of water can pass us by before we stop trying to count them? The rocks are worn smooth; slippery cool beneath exploring hands. The sun smiles on the stream far beneath, and the waves weep in reply. I can’t tell if it’s happy or sad.

Cattails and tall grass hug the river, too bashful to take a dip, but brave enough to glance in the mirror. Miles out, a boat floats from the dock out into the bay, all but shadows against the shimmering, golden backdrop.

The spring breeze hugs the mist, carrying it along like unspoken truths too old for ears to hear, but too young for mouths to speak.

What is this? A feeling. We are mirrors of the world, as reflective as that flowing stream. Just like that stream, what we reflect isn’t the same as the source. Each ripple, each dip and rise in our minds turns that image into something new. There are almost 8 billion people on earth, each of them streams reflecting life in their own way, each slowly moving toward the Bay.

Like these rivers, we’re not stuck in just one spot. Regardless of what the presentists might say, we’re all a co-occurrence of where are, were, and will be the same way that river isn’t just in one 2×4 spot along the riverbed. It’s the whole thing, all at once, and all of it’s changing.

Even the past isn’t settled. Just ask someone who remembers an event differently than you do. In a single flash, we can look at all of our memories in a different way, and all of our plans follow suit.

I can’t imagine any other way to live than this wiggly life. I see so many people who confuse me. Their rigidity, their certainty is so alien to me that I can’t even begin to understand. Though I know it’s caused by fear, and pain, and hope, and longing all presented in such a solid way. Sharp.

Instead of sharp, they’re like feathers to me. Or an easy, rhythmic hand job on a summer night. They rise and fall, that’s all. I don’t try to keep them anymore than the stream tries to hold onto its ripples.

Sitting on a rock, a moment of doubt as I catch my face in the water. A moment of self-loathing and confusion. I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with my face; I seem to look different each time I see it. It’s not much of a face at all, really.

The feeling passes, as feelings do. The boat has long since shrunk to a dot, and then an invisible, “I know it’s out there somewhere,” memory. The sun continues to sink, everything’s orange. Silently abiding, drinking in it, the world turns without me, and I breathe in evening, smiling with the sea.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s