Go down to the river

Published 9:49 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012

By Rex Alphin

It’s the lowest place around. Everything, on its own accord, eventually winds its way down to this watery reservoir of life.

So go down to the river.

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All you who hurt. From broken relationships to broken bodies. You who feel the daily hole in your life of someone who cannot be replaced. You who have the desperate yearning to take back an action that should not have occurred, to un-say words that should not have been said. You who hurt from looking back at a life that cannot be changed, cannot be altered, cannot be re-lived.

Throw it all in the river, I tell you.

All you who live in fear of what may come, of what might happen — to your children, your parents, your friend, your life. You who worry about the shape the words of a doctor or the actions a spouse might take. You who fret over what you might be called to do one day, knowing you presently do not have the strength.

You who are overwhelmed with the fear of living up to people’s expectations and seeing the disappointment in their eyes as you, once again, retreat into your dark corner. You who worry about having enough or have no hope for more. You with anxiety of being left out or left alone, disregarded or disgraced, ignored or inadequate.

Throw it all in the river, I tell you.

All you who despair of what could have been and wasn’t, of what might have been and isn’t. You who are transfixed by the tape that continually plays in your head of that day, that event, that occasion. You who are caught up by the look in that person’s eye, the pain in that person’s face, the hesitancy in that person’s voice, as it has been cemented in your memory. You who say “if only” a thousand times in a thousand ways, knowing you can never go back, never grasp again a particular moment in time.

Throw it all in the river, I tell you. Stand on the bank, pry its embedded tentacles off your body and, with one giant heave, cast it all, against its will, into the murky depths and watch as it is enveloped and carried deliberately downstream. Watch as it passes out of sight, from river to river, winding its way to somewhere in the sea, where it will be buried forever.

Rivers were created for such things.