Learning to Love


The river flows one way. We know this - from source to the ocean, or landlocked lake, or aquifer. We draw outlines on maps, memorize which flow north-south and which flow up towards the seas above them. And yet, if you stand at the river, and look, long enough for the light to shift or the wind to touch your face, maybe you'll notice.


Can you see it? How water moves one way and another, at the same time? As if being or going one way, the whole concept of linear time, progressive futures, one-way movement, were something not wrong, really, but incomplete. As if our book of the world were missing some paragraphs, or chapters (as if it wasn’t a book at all but something altogether more interesting).


When I sit by a river, and pause to watch the smallest ways that water is, I think: we know so little of time, about the world and how it all moves and breathes together. (And what a gift to be here, even so.)


And because (you know this, but let me say it anyway) learning to look, carefully, slowly, unhurriedly, (so that I can see all the ways you move, and know that of course none of them is a contradiction, of course you are this way and this other way at the same time, easily) is a kind of loving, let me stand here, and look at you.