Friday, May 8, 2009

more on rivers

I’ve got veins all over me and through me. I see river veins running near to me and their sometimes murky, sometimes glass-like surfaces pierce through my heart like a million sharp stone arrows leaving me breathless, leaving me satisfied with a painful depth of joy that raises tender scar bumps on my skin.

Yesterday, riding fast along the river that I love, the fog of a chilly but warming morning hung in misty ribbons over the trembling water. The birds went about their business building nests and tending to their little ones and beckoning the coming of rain with their varied voices—calling tangy toned notes, shrill and lovely.

I spotted the first orioles I have seen this spring—startled and gladdened by their bright orange under bellies, I stopped to pay closer attention to their proud black heads—slick and serious in the gray morning light.

I pedaled on and watched all the living things moving in some kind of perfect unison around me and wanted just to be there for always and not to emerge up the cemented hill from the river valley through the neighborhood where wealthy people live in too big of houses.

Everyday it is like this. I am tempted by a river to stay low and fast to its banks—to hover lightly on the edges of that in between place. That place where I do not have to think about suffering and violence and the ever-growing emergence of more and more injustice.

On some days, I wish I had become an ornithologist or a botanist or something not so connected to the intricacies of the human ability to think (or not think) and hurt (or not hurt) and love (or not love) or spread meanness (or not spread meanness). I wish for the lazy river to cover me constantly and make it all better. It does—in those hazy morning moments when I am captured in the river valley apart from the mayhem on the hill.

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