Water and Sustenance

Image: 'Living Close to the Water,' by Andrew Smith on Flickr

[Image: “Living Close to the Water,” by Andrew Smith. (Original on Flickr; used here under a Creative Commons license — thank you!)]

From whiskey river:

Despite everything, we are good people, who can hardly live in this world that continues almost entirely at our expense.

The best thing is to keep on moving arms and legs, and watch the waves, almost as though moving forward.

In this way, despair turns quickly over to happiness, and back to despair again.

And, if you reach the beach, walk back across it like everything is fine, toward your family who would not like to see the abyss you have just swum over.

(Joanna Walsh [source])

and:

The next morning I shall get up at dawn. I shall let myself out by the kitchen door. I shall walk on the moor. I shall see the swallow skim the grass. I shall throw myself on a bank by the river and watch the fish slip in and out among the reeds. The palms of my hands will be printed with pine-needles. I shall there unfold and take out whatever it is I have made here; something hard. For something has grown in me here, through the winters and summers, on staircases, in bedrooms… Then my freedom will unfurl, and all these restrictions that wrinkle and shrivel — hours and order and discipline, and being here and there exactly at the right moment — will crack asunder.

(Virginia Woolf [source])

and:

At Least

I want to get up early one more morning,
before sunrise. Before the birds, even.
I want to throw cold water on my face
and be at my work table
when the sky lightens and smoke
begins to rise from the chimneys
of the other houses.
I want to see the waves break
on this rocky beach, not just hear them
break as I did all night in my sleep.
I want to see again the ships
that pass through the Strait from every
seafaring country in the world—
old, dirty freighters just barely moving along,
and the swift new cargo vessels
painted every colour under the sun
that cut the water as they pass
I want to keep an eye out for them.
And for the little boat that plies
the water between the ships
and the pilot station near the lighthouse.
I want to see them take a man off the ship
and put another up on board.
I want to spend the day watching this happen
and reach my own conclusions.
I hate to seem greedy—I have so much
to be thankful for already.
But I want to get up early one more morning, at least.
And go to my place with some coffee and wait.
Just wait, to see what’s going to happen.

(Raymond Carver [source])

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