Months and months and days ago I dropped a stone into a river.
It held the truth wrapped in expectations of justice and consequence. The speed and angle of its descent didn’t matter. Neither did those whispered wishes that bound it. They were more about summoning courage than exerting control. I was the one whispering. And only to me.
The riverbed had been there long. It was firmly established. Connected to the landscape. My stone barely had an impact. For me, it was so heavy. In the water, it made one small splash and then it sunk to the bottom, mattering little. I should have known.
I know it sits there. I sense its weight as if it still rests in my hand. The solid feel of rock. All its angles, ridges, smooth places. I remember the committed grasp of my fingers holding firm. And then letting go. Dropping that stone made ripples in every aspect of my life. That time was huge and heavy. Like I was held fast and the world swirled angrily by. I felt buried deep. Like swimming not to drown. There was never enough air. It was as if I swallowed cement. But that was fear. Not of the truth. Rather of the consequences of telling it.
Fear is cold and lonely.
I dropped that stone forever ago. Waiting has been cruel.
But time passes as time does. Moves us back into regular rhythms.
My thoughts moved from the stone to the river. The water was calm. Cold. Frozen. Still. Now it is rushing away, surging and noisy in the spring. One stone is inconsequential.
I have followed time away from that river. Walked in different directions. Tried not to circle back. Although sometimes I was lured.
My stone remains. Submerged. Still.
It’s important that I held it. That I dropped it. Let it go. With its release went all of my control. I have never known anything so much as I know this. One sharp intake of breath. On the water flowed. Breathe out.
The rules of gravity are all about one direction. I can’t will that stone to begin rising. I can’t hope that at some depth, deep down in the mud or moving through the murky shallows, it will be seen again. It sits on the bottom, not buried, but going nowhere.
That stone was never really mine. I merely bewitched it, wrapped it in my truth, linked it to me. It doesn’t call for me. I don’t long for it. Just sometimes I question how it wasn’t really seen. Water has a way of making a simple stone shine. But only if you are standing there, ready to notice. Not looking off into the distance conscious of other things.
There are many paths around this river bank. Into the trees. Towards the mountains. Under the warm sun. I have stood and considered them all. My gaze is fixed ahead. I am walking away.
I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge to write and publish a post every day in March.
Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I thank them for the community they provide. Read more slices here.
Your use of words is powerful. I hope long after this March slice of life, you continue to write. Your metaphor of the stone in water is such a part of my reality. We much be open enough to let it go so that we can recognize that it is not as huge as we thought.
I agree with Kimberly you writing is mesmerizing. You should continue to write – you left me feeling, questioning and hoping. I wanted to call you back, I wanted you to see the other possibilities, I wanted to know what you left behind. Your use of words and the mood you created was artfully crafted. Thank you.
I adore visiting your blog, Carrie. Your exquisite writing is like a gift every time.
I’m feeling that heavy rock (with something in my own life right now). It is a metaphor I will carry with me.
I hope you know that you have an amazing gift as a writer. Your thoughts and words create magic together.
I thought of Walden as I read through your words a couple of times, Carrie. The metaphoric language that is derived from being in nature is so powerful. Everything in nature speaks to us, guides us and reminds us how life has seasons, transitions, and that we must let go. It sounds like you are in one of these transitions – waiting – wondering – what is next? There is angst when you have been in education as long as we, a grinding of the soul, like your stone, looks for that new light.
I believe your stone will be seen. It will sparkle in the sunlight. A strong current will lift that stone and it will be carried to new places. Believe and it will be true. Whether it be a matter or geography or only within.
Beautiful words, Carrie – keep writing this journey. 🙂
This slice will echo in my mind long after March ends. The writing is beautiful; and I cannot stop thinking about that stone…
Carrie, thank you for a beautifully written powerful metaphor of release that frees.
I’m glad you shared this moment with us. It is a gift to us, and hopefully a gift to you as you released the stone. Now you’ve released your story to us to ponder, thinking of us and connecting our own lives to it too. Beautifully written, thinking of you often, Carrie.
Truly a gift on this Easter morning – to read your wise and insightful ‘slice’ and to know that you have found your way through the door – know that there are many doors ahead, open and beckoning.
You pulled me in from your first line and I read through your slice, then went back to read it again. What a powerful, wonderful piece.
As repetitive as this sounds, your writing and this little blog of yours is a gift and I’m so thankful that you joined in this little challenge. I truly believe you exercised your writing muscles this month! And I can’t wait to continue visiting this little gold mine …
Carrie as always your message makes me reflect and think about my life. Thank you, today is a very special day I was fortunate to celebrate my birthday on a very holy day Easter.
I have often said, “all I need is a river and a rock.” Now I’m thinking that I was saying I need to let go–you gave me so much to ponder. Thank you for your elegant writing.
Wow. Wow. Wow. Thank you for this gift of words wrapped ’round a stone and dropped into a river. Its meanings resonate and reverberate.
HUG from me to you, Carrie!