Wednesday, October 26, 2005

"Our Own River"

"Shall we gather at the river?" The poles are waiting. There's a chair for rest and retirement. Shall we watch "life" go by like a river? Shall we begin to realize that "the river" flows and constantly changes and is never the same for anyone at anytime? Shall we come to realize that it is like "time" and existence, "timeless"? We each have our own perspective and view of "that river" and it is not like anyone else's. Our very act of observing it, let alone stepping into it, changes it. This is a metaphor that is used by the ancient Indian (Hindu) poet Tagore. It is also referred to in a series of books by Stephen Hawking, "A Briefer History of Time." His first publication, "A Brief..." was so difficult to understand by the average lay-astronomer that he wrote this sequel. What he gets into is our origins and our very existence in this Universe.

It is not a coincidence that the naming of the cards in poker after "the flop" are "the turn" and "the river". It has alot to do with our perception of "our fate" and how it can "turn" just by chance and then we have to deal with it at "the river".

There's a church that I pass on the way to my doctor's in Redlands called "The River". I don't know what denomination it is, but I can bet, it has something to do with age old symbolic act of "change" and "dealing with it". It is a symbol of renewal and the washing away of the old. In that recent movie, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" there's a hauntingly nostalgic song "Down to the River to Pray" If you saw it, you remember that one of the brothers gets caught up in one of those local ceremonies and gets "Saved". I can remember the baptismal in my old Eagle Rock Covenant Church up on the second floor just behind the choir loft. This is where I was baptized as a teen. It was very meaningful to me then. At the time, I didn't fully realize all the symbolism I would discover later on in my life and even now.

The picture is from "The Jungle Cruise" at Disneyland...Soren's favorite ride. I shot it over the shoulder of father and son who were immensely enjoying their current "ride" on that river with all it's "fake perils". It is muddy, self-contained and goes around in a shallow circle...much like our own rivers at times. I'm sure their perception of that river ride is much different than mine or anyone else's. I see myself and my young sons on that same kind of "river". How we viewed our "rivers" then have certainly changed over the years. Can't go back...can't step into that same river...can't and really don't want to anymore. I have my own "river" to sit by, observe, and even fish. Trolling is all the fun now. Bob


At 11:08 PM, Anonymous #oneson said...

very nice dad. C

At 7:35 AM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

"Just sittin' on the dock of the bay, wastin' time...I'm...

At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Bette said...

Have you read Sidahrtha by Herman Hesse? It's about the "river" too.

At 6:58 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

Yes, I have, many years ago. Brett has read it too.


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