Saturday, January 5, 2019

A drift to the past

I haven't been up to posting in a bit; I did a post, decided it wasn't up to snuff. So, I'm reposting one of my 'River Stories', there are about 6 I think, all done 6-8 years ago. This wasn't the first written, just seems to be the beginning.

River, the beginning 

I began each day like this, as though it were the last. I know the last days will be here, where the sun runs into the ocean, that I will see in a movement of sea birds and hear in the sound of water beating against the earth what I now only imagine, that the ocean has a sadness beyond even the sadness of herons, that in the running into it of rivers is the weeping of the earth for what is lost.

By evening, when confirmation of those thoughts seems again withheld, I think of going back upriver, up to the log jam, past where the stump is jammed, or even beyond, to the headwaters, to begin again.

I will tell you something. It is to the thought of the river's banks that I most frequently return, their wordless emergence at a headwaters, the control they urge on the direction of the river, mile after mile, and their disappearance here on the beach as the river enters the ocean. It occurs to me that at the very end the river is suddenly abandoned, that just before it's finished the edges disappear completely, that in this moment a whole life is revealed.

It is possible I am wrong. It is impossible to speak with certainty about very much.

It will not rain for the rest of the day. Lie down here beside me and sleep. When you awake you will feel the pull of warm winds and wish to be gone. I will stand somewhere on the beach staring at the breakers, the scampering of sanderlings, thinking I can hear the distant murmuring of whales. But I can as easily turn inland, and go upriver.

When you awake, if you follow the river into the trees up the valley I will be somewhere ahead or beyond, like the herons.

When you are overwhelmed with feeling,  when your fingers brush the soft skin of a deer-head orchid , or you see a house ahead, near the river bank beyond the falls, you will know a loss of guile, and the beginning of the journey.

Come find me. We have much to see.


  1. Beautiful, evocative, stirring. Marvelous piece. I get a sense of melancholy and the abiding wonder of nature. Eternity in a place and moment. Well done. Thanks for sharing again.

    1. High praise coming from a real writer. Hope you're having a good winter, Tom.

  2. You missed your calling. Or maybe more accurately, a second calling.

    1. It's a comfort to me now that once I helped people, the writing thing comes and goes. Hope you're doing well.

  3. I remember discovering "you" when I ran across a post of yours about fishing written from somewhere near the Gulf in Texas(?) and I've been chasing you from there to Montana to California to Washington and back again. "What A Long Strange Trip It's Been."