Down by the River


I had a conversation with a friend of my last night that I wish I had a long time ago.


It’s worth saying something more about this friend, as he really is a unique and interesting man.


He was born and raised on a Native American reservation in Arizona.  I would characterize him a deeply spiritual person, but in an entirely unorthodox way.  I would venture to guess that he sees himself as a shaman, and he believes adamantly in the spiritual and existential power and possibilities of psychoactive drugs.


He is very interested in exploring and discussing the different layers and realities in which we all simultaneously exist.


And he works at an organic butchery in town.


We sat on the banks of Six Mile Creek in downtown Ithaca around dusk and talked for a couple of hours.  We talked about love, time, and the nature of reality.


And he gave me some great advice.


In the flow of an abstract conversation about our individual presence within the universe, he spoke about trust, and that game we’ve all played in which you close your eyes and fall backwards, trusting your people to catch you.  Every now and again, he said,  you have to do that with life.  Close your eyes and fall backwards, and without even knowing if anyone is there, trust you will be caught.


After a while, we sat quietly and watched the water flowing down the creek.  We’ve had a great deal of rain the past few weeks, and the current was fast and high.  Just below us, was a strong ripple pushing backwards against the current.  I like to sit here and watch the water, he said.  You can learn a lot by watching water.  Just look at that ripple.  Every day, it doesn’t matter the level of the water, that ripple pushes backwards against the current.  It’s always the same but never the same.


Fall backwards with your eyes closed, and trust that you will be caught.



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