In Eugene, Oregon this week – which means good food, good talk, and walks by the Willamette River.
A friend this week asked me if Ohio had made its way into my writing since moving there a year ago. Not having thought on this subject before, I was surprised at my response, mainly that moving around so much places me back into myself, back into the places I have known.
The Ohio, the Willamette, the Rio Grande, the Susquehanna – the waters I have known are all connected, in the words I write and in the, uhm, science-y geographical way too.
The poem below, from The Penguin Book of Chinese Verse, shares some of this feeling. I am moved by the image of a man sleeping on the current, trusting to wake up in the same world, if only a little different.
At the riverside village – Ssu-kung Shu
My fishing done, I have returned, but do not moor my boat;
At the riverside village the moon will set just as I go to sleep.
Even if during the night the wind wafts me away,
I shall only reach the shallows where the rushes bloom.