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Posts Tagged ‘narrative story’

“The river is rising…the river is rising!!”  “All within the sound of my voice, hear me!”  “We may not have long to prepare before the water claims us.”

I visited the Falls last Saturday and indeed was surprised to see how high the river had risen.  The Army Corps of Engineers had let some of the water through the dams and this action, I figured, was a result of the rains that fell upriver hundreds of miles away?  The river had crept its closest to my studio spot since I established it back in the spring.  The Styrofoam that I had cached there became panicky and started organizing itself before the inevitable inundation.  The call about the river rising came from an especially large Styrofoam figure that I hadn’t seen before. 

“This could be it…this could be the big one.”  “All inhabitants of Styro-land make preparations.”  “Gather all things that are precious and can float away and seek higher ground.”  “Is there anybody out there that can hear me?”   

 In the background, the sound of logs crashing and rolling over each other in the waves made a particularly un-nerving grinding and squeaking sound.  Every once in a while a large pop would register as something wooden broke apart. 

“Is there anyone out there to harken to my call and needs help?” These words came from the figure I dubbed “Pot Belly” and I soon realized that he wasn’t alone.  At the edge of my vision, a figure moved.

“Dude, I’m here and what’s all the noise about?”  “Sounds like you need to take a chill-pill and relax.”  “The river rising is no big deal.”  “It’s happened a million times over thousands of years.”  “So, what could be that different this time around?”  This reply came from an equally large Styrofoam figure that was relaxing on a log and watching the waters inch closer by the moment.  I decided to give this figure the name of “Cross-legged Lorraine”…for obvious reasons.

Pot Belly then proceeded to tell Cross-legged Lorraine that unlike previous floods, this one was going to effect them directly.  This wasn’t a hypothetical scenario or some dim recollection from a by-gone day.  This is real.  Soon their bodies would get caught up in nature’s momentum and be carried away and altered in the process.  Whatever happens and wherever they may next wash ashore…they would be different.  For some, reaching the ocean would be one step closer as the river flows westward before reaching the Mississippi and it’s journey south to the Gulf of Mexico.

The realization of Pot Belly’s words could be read on Lorraine’s face.  I think the photograph I took of her conveys a little of the panic in the situation.

I watched as the two Styro-figures slowly walked to an area that was slightly higher in elevation.  Pot Belly lifted Lorraine onto an especially large log and that was where I left them.  I may or may not see them again and I suddenly felt sad.  I was the only human being around this day to witness this event.

Through the leafless trees, I could see the little area that I had made my temporary home for my flights of imagination this year.  I’m going to miss sitting on a familiar log with all this “potential” gathered around me. To all things there is a season and I know that the river will soon rearrange this spot as though I was never here.  All the materials I gathered will move along and perhaps I will recover some of it a little further down river.  Over time, the waters will deposit other materials and I will gather those too and make what I can make in this dynamic location.  I gave my studio site another good look and selected a few nice driftwood branches and walked away.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.

My thanks to my eight-year old son, Adam for his editorial advice.  He suggested that Lorraine should say “Yo, dude…” in her reply to Pot Belly, but I thought that sounded too skateboardish.

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