Friday, October 4, 2013

Musing on Confluence

Perhaps because I have recently moved to a new state, perhaps because I have been long absent from this blog, perhaps because I have been given the gift of writing time once again, I've been musing a bit on the title of this blog--"Confluence Musings". Now, when I speak of confluence, of course I have in mind a whole lot of metaphoric meanings beyond the literal notion of rivers merging--the confluence of minds, of ideas, of viewpoints, to name a few.

But of course the literal meaning of confluence remains important to me as well, for I try to stay conscious of my dependence on the natural world, both literally in the sustenance of life, my life and all life, and sustainability of a healthy mind as well, which, for me, means not only consciousness about my interactions with the natural world but steady doses of living actively within it. As mentioned, I have recently relocated, trading one specific geographical place for another, once point of confluence, literally, for another. For the last several years I have lived within a mile of the confluence of the Snake, Greys, and Salt Rivers. I now live on the shore of Flathead Lake, not so far from the confluence of the Flathead, Stillwater, and Whitefish Rivers. Indeed, my wife now works of an institution that takes its name from the fact of that confluence.
I suspect most of us do not live that far from river confluences, but too often take them for granted or have urbanized them beyond recognition. Yet, contemplating a river, there is something remarkable when one thinks about all the land, all that land touches in a watershed, all the water and all that it carries passing by in an endless march, a realization that is heightened when seeing one river meet another and watching those waters join and blend.

That's what I am interested in with people and with ideas as well, those points where they meet and interact, for sometimes confluence does happen and we find new ways to move forward, informed by new waters, finding our common roots and shared ideas, learning ways to work together.

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