The flow of life is like a river

Charles Powell

There is an old saying that says you never step into the same river twice.

The reasoning behind this, is because as a river flows the nature of the water always changes and thus changes the world along with it. There are certain constants; it will always seek to flow to the sea along the path of least resistance and will always come from the same source unless something catastrophic happens.

The waters will always run smoothest when the bed is deep and wide. The chaotic rapids come when the river is squeezed into too tight of a space.

The saying rings true for me because I have discovered just how different every semester is, and how you cannot see around the bend.

There is no true way to anticipate exactly what will come in life. There is of course beauty in that always knowing your fate would be boring.

The pull between order and chaos is one of the great dynamics in life and is essential in some parts of the world.

Egypt, one of the cradles of early civilization, depended on the fact the Nile River would overflow in order to be able to have a fertile field. The new silt left behind as the river receded to its more usual flow replenished the fields. However, if it overflowed with no pattern, no harvest would be possible.

Life operates much the same, or at least mine does, if there is no chaos or challenge it all grows stale. If there is only constant strife everything will break down without a chance to build up again.

It is a duality of being, which can help keep life fulfilling overall. Of course we all have different thresholds for how much chaos or order we want.

Somewhere between the two is a balance, which lends a flourish to existing.

I believe stories act as an agent of this. They sweep up our identity and allow us to experience life through another’s eyes. An engrossing tale can also reflect facets of our selves back to us.

One story that caught me up was the movie Warm Bodies. As a writer, I always need to see and feel the tale behind the images. It is the same with music for me, if the words couldn’t stand on their own and open up my mind, there isn’t much to interest me.

In the film, humanity shrank and divided to more regular folks. Zombies and the completely ravenous skeleton creatures de-evolved into when they gave up all semblance of humanity.

I am unsure as to how exactly this particular apocalypse happened, but I see constant vestiges of it in so-called reality.

The hold-outs of human society had given up on the idea of growing or overcoming. They just wanted to block the outside world and hoped for a slower decline.

Most of the zombies were resigned to their existence, but the hero of them was conflicted about it. When he met a girl in one of the worst imaginable first meetings, he felt a spark. He came to desire not just having her, but also evolving back into a human. Starting from the two of them, a ripple of a new hope radiated out to others.

The crux is that there has to be cravings for more to exist. If that is abandoned, we become husks that wither away and perhaps want to shred others so we do not have to face what could be.

It is vital to care about others and the impact we either have or give up as part of what should define us as being human. In fact, empathy and concern for others is not limited to us.

There is a flow to life. A story or river of being that offers growth or decay. Somewhere between the mad dash and the static is hope for the creation of joy for all.