Sunday, April 12, 2009

The little brown paper boat

I had a strange thought in the middle of the night; perhaps it was part of a dream.

It was about you. Yes, you. You were standing in a fast moving river wearing your Sunday best. You bent over and with both hands launched a little brown paper boat. You stood and watched it go further and further away into new waters.

Then, somehow, you were on that little boat. You looked back and longed for the familiar water you left behind. You turned around again and appeared to be both fearful and excited about the water that lay ahead.

But then you looked down and realized that the water itself, beneath the boat, never changed: the same bit of water you set yourself in, carried you along. It was only the world around you that had altered. Like time, the changing of the water was a constant and stubborn illusion. The shores you move away from become your past, the ones you approach, your future, but the water beneath you is the present moment that, despite all the distractions, you’re always in.

You saw, to your horror, that in that moment everything thing you thought you got away from had followed you. All those things you tossed overboard, hoping the current would take them away, were there.

You picked up your little boat and were back where you started—comforted by the familiar surroundings, happy to be standing still. But when you looked down you realized that the water beneath you was constantly changing, and you were now at the mercy of whoever was standing upstream.

Copyright © Colin Frizzell 2009. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. "Are you talking to me" (think DeNiro)

    This line "It was about you." is certainly arresting for the reader.

    This is striking and intimate. Well done.