The Night River

                                              And I was out there and there was nothing but the sound of the river and all that it was offering. To start with I was up above it and the sound was hollowed-out. Like an amphitheatre there was small sound made bigger, moving upwards towards me. That was the first impression I got. I became hooked upon that sound. It replaced music. It rebalanced my ears somewhat. I thought it may be a lifestream, an ancient way of mapping the world, of finding a centre until it became automatic. Became our innate navigation system. Once on the Nile, I knew that the Egyptians had built their mythologies around their river; I knew that the Sun had cross their river every day and that the directions had been sacred. Now I knew that it was the same in this valley of ice age beauty, glacial memory. The river was the anchor to everything in the whole world. A mythic voice with no beginning and no end, a continuation throughout time, an accordion played to the eternal. River would teach me all that books could not. I have given up on written words. I was starting to see that nothing could show me about this remembering unless it had eternal memory. Or none at all. A stream of consciousness being present to every moment it offered itself up to. So I continued to sit and listen. There was nothing but the river. No fox came, no badger. Nothing showed itself to me except sound. The hazel grove shivered. Each leaf pivoting on a spindle breath. Still the river moves. It filled my whole world with sound, glib silver strip. Re-playing aeons of water movement. I was on top of it, yet in it. It appears to me yet lapped gently, neither in it or of it. It became the map of the night sky. It became a map of me. Stations moved overhead and I was fixed on the river. Slipping within. And thereafter sometime I wanted to move. I wanted to get home. The edge of the forest had quietened and I needed to get home. I would move downwards as the water changed. That is what would happen. It would change. It would become flattened out as I walked. Its twisting ribbon would lay flat. I heard it laying flat. It would bounce off the edge of the wood the sound. It came to my ears changed. I walk down the hill in the dark yet closed my eyes. I heard the sound of the river bouncing off the edge of the trees and I walked in a parabola around them. I would see with my ears. And where the path crossed the downward track, the river sound would change again. A tiny gap would open the ribbon into a band. To hit both my ears together. A bandwidth. ear to ear it hit with equal weight and I knew I would turn left along the path. I turned left along the path. The river was speaking. It was speaking and I would turn. In the flow I was not against it. I was with it. I was always with it. There were no mistakes. I would look for the opening across the bridge with my ears on the river. That is how I looked. The path would cut to the river and then leave a gap. The flow of water in and then the flow of water out. Nothing in between. That would be the bridge I would cross. My eyes were in my ears. Open. I would cross. The river was raw as I cross. I cross the river. I was crossing on nothing but a gap in the sound. I would find a crossing where there was no sound. I moved in between the stereo of water as it stopped. When all that was behind me on my back side I will turn right. There would be nothing in my ears but sound. Then sound to the right of me. Nothing but sound to my right. There was a road I would cross it. And slowly the teaching of the river would wane. I would step away from it and feel warmth on my skin. A thick curtain of warm would wash over me. I stepped away from the river sound towards the house. The warmth of stone on my skin. The river sound to my back. I navigate. It would be easier to navigate around the side of the house. When the faint sound of the waterfall hits my ears in front of me. The waterfall bounced off the wall of the barn and back to my ears. Gently. This water sound is different. Fresh, uncertain, playful, young, only just turned from ice to water and falling. As I approach, I would know the precise location of the corner of the house by the sound of the fresh falling. I walk to the corner of the house, it would hit me, that sound of freshness. Far away yet falling. And to walk towards the front door of my house. I walk towards the front door. The freshness falls over me as I walk. And through the front door I am shutting the door and then there is silence. There is light in the house. No need for sound. There was no need for sound where light illuminates the way. The fridge hums but it tells me nothing. It has no story. It has no history. There is nothing it can tell me that is any different from yesterday, from last week. I ignore it. There is a sink and there is a tap. There is a toothbrush and I am brushing. There is a faint light from the landing but my eyes are closed. No need to see. My ears say nothing. Then at the end I look into the mirror and there is someone standing looking at me. No one I recognise. There seems to be a gap in the front of me and I cannot reach that other person. I see that person there for the first time, all fresh and new. I feel that the person is inside a box and I can reach out and touch her. I feel as if she may walk away and I would look behind the mirror to see where she had gone. I am waiting for her to walk away. The light is coming into the bathroom silently and it makes me feel as if she is going to walk away. I am waiting. There she is standing looking at me and I don't understand. I close my eyes again. In bed I have my hands over my ears but the river comes in through the window. It is above me. I am below and the river comes in at two points. There is another river coming in at my feet. The river is bouncing at several different angles like mirrors deflecting sound. Two ribbons at my feet and a band upon my head. It bounces like that for awhile. It is bouncing all around me like lasers cutting through the geometry of the room. I am high up in bed and the river cuts upwards to find me. It is over me. I slept.