The River

June 2, 2013
By blackknight SILVER, West Babylon, New York
blackknight SILVER, West Babylon, New York
7 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."


Like a piece of broken glass, I watched as that black rock sat there in the riverbed. It was motionless, as if it already gave up to the subtle erosion of the water. However, it did not let the water dictate its movement, for it simply remained still, not wavering. While the water of the river flowed along at its own pace, it seemed as though the rock had kept its ground, not fighting however, but subdued to its sullen life and therefore did not need any other place then where it is now.

I was going for my usual walk through the wilting trees of the nearby hill when today of all days I decided to take a different route. This pathway led me down near the flowing stream that—to my amazement—was full of life: Swans and ducks quietly treading in the water, followed by their young, and the variety of insects performing their tasks to keep the balance of the environment. It was then that I was able to breathe in deeply and forget the life I had behind me and take in all the scenic beauties this small area had to offer. It wasn’t until a small object in the river caught my eye that I realized I was intruding upon the present state of harmony of the stream.

The rushing water of the river was not as loud as a sound where one would be disturbed greatly. However, once far away where the sound was inaudible, one would surely miss the swishing sounds of the water swaying back and forth. This was nevertheless not the case for this black rock sent to eternal resting in the torment of this never ending flow of the river. The rock seemed to be content with its placement, but a more studied analysis could determine a feeling of the rock being disturbed with everything interacting with it.

There was a crack running through the center, for everyone to see. It resembled a smile permanently placed around the smoother part of the rock. But as the smile ended and the rock formed a more jagged structure, I could easily see once I picked up the rock that it was hollowed. The crack on the outside was only a deception for the emptiness within that was once filled with that which is vital for survival, but is now replaced with a void after separating from all it once knew.

I could now see its struggles through its own eyes, the war that it had seen through the ages of its existence, the toils of man that it was forced to live through. All deflected off its exterior as if it was unstoppable. But the years had worn it away. The river slowly eroded it away to its smoother state that it is in now. But the interior is already gone, and it cannot come back. The rock was already debilitated to its fragile state that could easily break if another rock was to flow by and cause a collision. However, the rock somehow kept intact.

Some time after it had given in to the world, it stopped this deflection. Instead, like a barnacle to a whale, the challenges thrown by life stuck itself to the rock and formed an outer shell of blackness, blocking the true white within that was no longer fighting to be shown. I struggled to remove any of this hardened dirt and smaller rocks that made up this armor. I removed my keys from my pocket and managed to free a small amount, but the pictures on my keychain only reminded me why I had taken this alternative route today. Smashing the keys into this rock, several pieces of the dried mud fell into the water and went downstream.

I sat down in the water and tried to let it take me away to a calmer place and not this faster part of the river. To transport me to the mouth of the river, where the force of the river was slower, and things remained more constant; the mouth is part of the head which seems to restrict many things from moving very far. The water urged me to move, but somehow lacked the power to cause any movement, making me be the one to choose where to go.


I looked closer upon this rock still held in my hands. The pieces that had fallen revealed a little more of its back. I turned the rock over and immediately jumped out from my sitting position and out of the water. The rock fell into the water and laid there in front of me. This hollowed rock was not a rock at all. It was the skull of a person long before me; with its eyes now staring at me, not with anger, but understanding. The jaw was lost long before my arrival and slowly eroded to disfigure the original shape, but it could never take away from the eye sockets it will never lose.
This riverbed, once thought to be so joyful and happy, was now the resting place for the sorrows of life, but not the graveyard, for like this river that keeps flowing, so do the troubles.
As I stand there in shock of what I had just seen, I simply stare at the object in front of me. It still does not move with the river going from left to right. It only remains still in the water, not deviating from where it was left. The water, however, keeps flowing around the skull as if there is nothing there at all. It just keeps flowing.



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