The Elders said I should talk to the river, so I sit on the muddy bank and feel foolish, tongue-tied, what should I say to this ancient being? I love you I mutter in blunt English and feel embarrassed, until I begin to comprehend that I need to be quiet, to leave my hat, my clothes and shoes discarded on the edge and slip into warm water, brown as clay sink beneath the surface into a myriad of voices speaking in stone speaking in lime, in sediment, in fish scales, in rain coming down from other countries. That it isn’t so much about what I say but what I can hear and see my self, shrunk to a pinpoint beneath time beneath the walls of the sky enveloped in something huge something so old but continually new. A sea eagle swoops, talons extended, grasps the river surface and pulls out silver. A cormorant drops full-bodied like fruit from a tree swallowed by the river’s arcane depths. Inside the reef-caves smell of decades and decay. A tiny coin-sized turtle turns to meet my gaze, our eyes held in light suspension I drift beneath white stone rippled by antediluvian oceans, the huge narrative of myself enfolded inside the river’s skin reduced to this one dumbstruck moment.
From: Vol.10 N.01 – Private: The Transformative Now
by Nandi Chinna