Free Write Fling, October 24, 2007

River Alive

I used to be a Lakeshore Girl. Raised in Michigan, in the suburbs My Happy Feet, Dead River, 09-2007of Detroit, the first Great Lake I became accustomed to was Huron. Then my parents bought property in Northport, Michigan on Cathead Bay where I spent summers swimming in Lake Michigan. Eventually, with adulthood and family in tow, I moved to the Upper Peninsula and was blown away by Superior.

It was after my divorce that I became a river walker. Perhaps I was searching for The Source? But I think it was Song; each river has it’s own song just as each Great Lake has it’s rhythms and moods. In the Upper Peninsula, rivers are plentiful, waterfalls abound and as I walked I found places of solitude where standing on rock mid-river one can practice Tai Chi.

One day, I was at Canyon Falls on the way to Baraga, and I was dancing on rock, Tai Chi, QiGong. A woman stopped me on my return to the parking lot and asked if I had been praying. I suppose I was.

I like walking water. I like feeling flow and the current tugging at my feet and calves. I like the cold. The shock. The chance to feel alone and loose inhibitions. In the digital image posted here I am on The Dead, as we call it in Marquette. Depending where you are on The Dead, the mood or song changes. I had walked up river from the Tourist Park in search of a circle of worn down chairs among trees and where the circle has faded, I was walking with light and clouds. Butterflies. Plovers (perhaps?). Thistle. Yellow Primrose. Bleached logs now exposed. This area once dammed had flooded-out 3 years earlier. No longer did a basin of water exist–here the river had taken its course reformed, free, lazy.

I am thinking of the first river writers I read. Michael Delp, The Text of the River–a book on the Au Sable and the words Michael wrote inside the cover, “Kim–Go to the river wherever you can!” Or when I fell in love with Judith Minty’s, Yellow Dog Journal.

From Michael’s book:

“Your blood tells you first. Maybe, on a warm night in May, your blood changes its course, comes from somewhere beyond your body, from the ground, or from that spring you first saw years ago in the woods, water coming from an iron ring in a small clearing, and you looked…first in, and then, down into a perfect dark circle of water like an eye, a dark pupil, and you feel this water in your legs first, then sifting upward into your heart.”

The river changes you. Holds you.

I am reading river books. Editing river images. And I am being called, out to the banks.

For more information on this Free Write Fling.


About kimnixon

Upper Peninsula Michigan Artist and Writer

Posted on October 24, 2007, in Freewrite Fling, Nature Writing, River Live, Self Portrait and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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