Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Time is round like the hours of a clock face to me. The days and the nights are circular. The year is round too, with winter at the top and summer at the bottom and European spring and autumn sandwiched in between on either side. Here we are now in the rainy season, and that is situated in the muddy bottom of the round which is the year.
Life itself, however, is linear. Not straight, perhaps, but a crooked and meandering progressing line. This line of life has always seemed to me to be a river We do not flow downstream however. We are stationary and the river flows by us and all around us. We are immersed in it as if we were tied up by a mooring. The river carries matter along with it. This matter we can take and use or ignore. Everything has the potential of being used, but it is up to us what we choose. Sometimes the river is wild and fast flowing, sometimes we try and grab onto a branch floating past we hold onto it for a while, but eventually the inexorable river will take it along again, sometimes too soon before we have finished with it. Now and then the river is reduced to a trickle, dried up by the sun, bringing with it seemingly nothing of value. Then the rains will come and swell it once more, and it becomes a broad river, flowing past majestically and peacefully, bathing us calmly like the Niger at Segou. I suppose at the end the mooring is untied and we float down the river to Camelot like the Lady of Shalott….’And at the closing of the day/She loosed the chain, and down she lay; / The broad stream bore her far away /The Lady of Shalott.

My river is large at the moment. It is very fast with many rapids and much matter floating past, matter that I feel I need to gather and use. I see much float past too, out of my reach. I try and grasp it but it is gone too fast.


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