Sunday, January 29, 2006
Again I showed up at the 49 bridge on a perfect paddling day without a boat. The river a milky green ribbon.
Jessica and I spoke on the phone at about 12:30 pm. I was still in my pajamas and drinking coffee. She was dropping her husband, Steve, off to paddle and wanted to know if I wanted to meet her there for a hike.
Once we dropped down from the trail to the river. Steve and his friend were just upstream. They paddled to us and reported time both spent stuck in the same hole.
Back to the bridge after the hike. More paddlers there. Matt. He wanted to hike. I declined. He wanted to watch me take photos. I said no. Just leave. Just leave. Please leave me alone.
On the flat slab of granite Christopher and I stood a year ago I sprawled out on my stomach, right hand dangling in the water until I could no longer press the camera’s button. The strap held the camera to my wrist. The hand red and slow.
Sitting on the slab I waited for my hand to return as I willed the sound, the smell and the feel of being there into my body. But I could not force it to stay.
Foam loitered in corners rising up and down like breath. Remains of something fibrous wound around a bare branch. I worked around them but returned time and time again to the two faceless figures in long hemp robes meditating downstream, melding into the rocks as the sun set, still and quiet. Did the sound, smell and feel meld into their robes to stay?