The River is Getting High

These days; these visual days, I like to start with an image …

… ’cause, you know, an image is a squashed-up set of words.

Look at a scene or a photograph of a scene (or even a line drawing) and then try to describe it.

There’s an infinite depth. Much more than yeah, that’s a church amongst some trees on a sunny day. As much as you know about yourself, that much you can say about any given scene.

I read today that a cloud is the soul of a river. Nice words, right? It means that … well, I guess you can work it out yourself.

I saw the river Ouse today. It was getting high. Not in the way that you get when you take drugs. It’s been raining here and the banks of the river Ouse are getting shorter and shorter as the hours go by. Soon there will be water on the riverbank. Maybe it’ll creep over the fields, slide down the roads and come knocking on our doors. Little pig, little pig, let me in. And I say no.

I could describe the river as nearly high or I could use 677,116,801,854,743 more words. Each drop of water comes from somewhere.

When Davey Sivaticus died of TB in 1856 his last cough was caught in a handkerchief that ended up in the laundry. When Sally Beaver of Acomb, York rinsed toothpaste from her mouth, she spat the water into the sink and washed it away. When you breathe your breath is full of water vapour that you only see on a cold day, but it’s there in summer too. I splash through puddles and then the sun takes that water up into the sky.


Eighty-six thousand four hundred stories per person for every single day times by almost eight billion. Use one word per second per person over the space of one day and that’s what a river is really like.

Nearly high.

Yeah. Me too.

Anyway, it’s been nice chatting with you.

Laters. 🐸

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