Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The River


"There is a River that flows through us.  An ancient, eternal river, unchanging since the beginning of time. 

We glide across its surface, we splash in its shallows and dive into into its depths.

It scalds us as a desert hot-spring, and freezes us as an ice-choked arctic stream.

Sometimes we forget, for a moment, to do Good Work.  We forget to know how others should live.  We forget to fight against evil and injustice.  We forget to fear loss and even death.

In these moments—fleeting and ethereal yet essentially beautiful—we may catch a genuine glimpse of the river itself.  We see it winding peacefully and undisturbed through the green and tangled undergrowth of our many lives. 

It may, for an instant, look like a baby’s smile, a lover’s touch or a flaming sunset.  It may sound like a tiny bamboo wind-chime, the wail of a saxophone or the nearly-deafening roar of Niagra falls.  It may, for the briefest moment, taste like chocolate or smell like fresh-roasted coffee beans. 

We think of it as the one, or two, or one hundred, or ten-thousand things.  It is none of these, and all of them.  We try to think it looks, sounds, feels, tastes and smells like something, because this is what we know, what we think we need.

The River needs nothing.  It carries us always, and invites us to float easily along its shallows or to thrash mightily to survive its rapids—whatever we prefer.  It has no messages for us, no secrets, no instructions or duties or threats or restrictions.  It flows unceasingly, generously, without thought or opinion.  We drink of it as we wish.

It has, of course, no name, but we—often preferring words—might call it Love."


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