Watching the River Flow

Watching the River Flow

Watching the River Flow

I recently returned from two weeks away from home—one week on the road and another in the woods. I spent a good deal of my time in the woods just sitting on the bank of a river staring at the water. I got a lot out of it. It never bored me. It sounds strange to hear people talk about the delights and miracles of technology, when they do not even begin to compare with what you can find in a river bed. I’m going to take another month off before starting the last draft of Street Song. In the meantime, I intend to post here a little more often than I usually do.

13 Responses to “Watching the River Flow”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Welcome home, Mark! I bet you enjoyed breathing (relatively) clean air. Everything in your lovely photo looks clean, too.

    Your riparian (!) week sounds fabulously restorative. No surprise there. Electronic gadgets and the internet can be fun, but technology is impersonal and virtual. Nature is living reality and it reminds us of our roots.

    I can’t believe that you’re about to undertake the final draft of Street Song. Time flies!

  2. Teri Says:

    Thanx for the update and cant wait for the book! hope all is well with you and yours 🙂

  3. Barbara Says:

    Great pic!

  4. linda Says:

    That looks like such a beautiful place, where is it? It reminds me of places I have seen.

  5. tz Says:

    calls to mind a little Thoreau…. “”I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach…”

    So glad you are able to take some time for the essentials. It should be mandatory for everyone.

    • markbittner Says:

      It’s strange. You drive a thousand miles to get some peace. Then you get back in the car and drive a thousand miles to get back home, hurrying along the freeway, dodging tons of flying metal. The peace is long gone by the time you get home. There is still the memory of it, though.

  6. Karen Baker Says:

    I was lucky enough to watch The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill last night on DVD from my local library. Touched my soul. Thank you Mark, it is a beautiful story I am so glad you shared. I am a great lover and observer of birds who visit me in gardens I work in, and I have had some special relationships. I am so happy to have this chance to make contact with you and send my thanks. Peace and Joy to you. Karen in Adelaide Australia.

    • markbittner Says:

      Back in 2006, or something like that, the film played in theaters in Australia. I was sent over to promote the film, and the very first city I saw (after the Sydney airport) was Adelaide. I have nice memories of the place. I was so tired, though, from the long flight.

  7. dwdeclare (@TheVeganarchist) Says:

    it’s always nice to get out of the city and go for a long walk in the woods. but no matter how beautiful it may be, the majestic trees, the fragrant flowers, the sky, the birds singing, the frogs croaking, it’s almost as if it’s just an illusion, a facade temporarily masking what the real world is now.

    no place is left untouched by homo sapiens’ presence on this planet, whether in the form of physical garbage on the ground or toxic pollutants in the air, our detrimental stamp is there pounding nature into submission.

    i’m not sure why life has to be a struggle to prevent people from causing suffering and destruction, and to preserve what is healthy and beneficial for the well-being of all. quite frankly, i think someone’s got some ‘splaining to do about the whole sordid arrangement.

    still, it does bring a smile to my face when i see a dandelion growing defiantly in the cracks of a city sidewalk as if to say, “fuck you, i have a right to exist here too!”

    • markbittner Says:

      I prefer to think of nature as reality and what we are doing as unreality. Unreality is intruding relentlessly, ruthlessly, yes; but unreality always gets lost and undermines itself. I have your same fondness for nature growing up through the cracks of sidewalks and streets. It looks to me like if humanity were to suddenly disappear, nature would get right down to business on our mistakes and could make relatively short work of it.

    • dwdeclare (@TheVeganarchist) Says:

      “unreality always gets lost and undermines itself”

      indeed, though not before wreaking havoc upon so many. the question then is how long must we wait, and what will it ultimately take, before we finally divest ourselves of the ignorance and gullibility which inexorably allows the blinding barrage of advertising, and the deafening clanging of jingo bells to guide our thoughts and actions, keeping us subservient to this ravenous and immoral economic system? death by consumption seems a likely possibility, and i don’t mean the doc holliday variety.

      and our lack of evolving knowledge is compounded when we cop this wishy-washy attitude that all opinions should be placed on the same footing and carry equal weight, even when scientific facts and hard evidence have demonstrated them to be patently false. we then end up prolonging the status quo/business-as-usual mentality in having people “agree to disagree” on matters of paramount importance such as climate change, universal health care, or who played corporal randolph agarn on f troop.

      “you’re entitled to your own opinions. you’re not entitled to your own facts,” the late democratic senator daniel moynihan once remarked. we would be wise to remember those words, and learn to recognize what is real and what is false, through critical examination of our long held beliefs and assumptions about who we are and our place in the universe. then maybe we can finally get it together and start moving toward the beloved community that dr. martin luther king jr. so often spoke of.

  8. Tim Mueller Says:

    I go to the Smoky Mountains when I need a stream fix. No electronic device can duplicate it.

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