Somewhere Near Waterfalls


The cliff-side hangings

Are held apart by slim pillars

Rocky towers that have formed long ago

Keep the river flowing through

A lapse that could not be understood

If it were to be put to words

But the feeling is liken to

Stone-made colossal fingers

Prying apart the edges of the soul

Demanding from the void

That it let the river run through it


I wrote this shorter poem around the end of July and beginning of August in 2018, around the time of leaving Salzburg, Austria and arriving in Iceland to hike the Laugavegur Trail.  It was an enjoyable time in Salzburg up until I had lost my passport while indulging in a night of beer-fueled karaoke at an Irish pub downtown. It was a fretful time then, knowing I would miss my flight to Iceland, talking to the police to file the loss, and trying to coordinate so many moving parts just to get an emergency passport from the embassy in Vienna. While the disruption was rough on a friendship, costly, and extremely stressful it taught me a valuable lesson in learning how to handle that sort of disruption.

Time seemed to eventually decompress that tension especially since I was exerting so much energy while packing along the trail. Before I knew it I was finishing the Laugavegur Trail and finally coming to find some clearer thoughts coming to life in place of the previously stress-clouded ones. I was on my fourth/last day, traveling south towards Skogar when I came to some resolution about how this is just how things work. So in the similar way we often parallel our human experiences to be these minor metaphorical expressions of bigger acts occurring by natural forces, I was able to compare my own situation; I had tried to fortify and build up these plans to the point where they seemed unbreakable, but all it took was one slip-up -one little give- and the whole thing came apart at the first sign of trouble. Sure, I could have just dismissed it as bad luck faulting into a worse-case incident, but instead I chose to think of it as perhaps a hearty dose of clarifying chaos.

Maybe that little bit of chaos is a necessity helped me to achieve a better understand about myself, and perhaps there are many others who have had similar experiences/perspectives. That may be the proposed lesson then; that we can connect with that unexpected chaos in the same way we come to revere, respect, appreciate the many chaotic actions that shape nature; from the avalanches, to the storms, to the canyons… sometimes you just have to let the river run through.

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