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The River (A Short Story)

river

I was dead set on scouring the Earth, desperately searching… For what? I wasn’t quite sure.

All I knew was that I was alone. I yearned for meaning, for connection, for something to wake me up out of my shallow pursuits. Though at the time, these yearnings felt like vague apparitions on the outer boundaries of my consciousness.

I had glimpsed what I was looking for, yet it was fleeting; too fleeting to understand. The glimpses in some way involved the river.

The river was mysterious. And presumably perilous. I feared it, though I didn’t want to admit it. It wasn’t the fear of the river itself, per say, but my fear of surrendering to the mercy of its power.

When I felt particularly courageous, I would dip into the river. But every time I touched it, I would quickly jump back, afraid that the current would carry me away.

The river was an intriguing enigma. I began to analyze it, attempting to understand all of its workings intellectually. These calculations were solely focused on the risks of the river and the threats it posed to me. Risk rumination without trust equates to crushing doubt. I felt paralyzed.

I wanted to explore. Driven by rugged stubbornness, I set out. After dragging myself through forests, up mountains and over vast fields, I realized that I was landlocked, surrounded by rivers on all sides.

On the bank of one river (they could’ve all been the same river for all I know); I decided to turn my focus inward. I asked myself questions like “What is my purpose here? Where am I trying to go? What do I want?”

I honestly didn’t know.

Then, delving deeper, I asked the question, “Who am I?”

This baffled me even more. I had never seriously entertained such a fundamental inquiry. Being next to a calm part of the river, I decided to take a look at my reflection in the water. What I saw astonished me. “I’m a dolphin?!”

I gasped.

Here I was, a dolphin, dragging myself across the land, literally killing myself for fear of letting go and allowing the river to carry me. “Absolute madness,” I thought.

It was insane, too insane to even take seriously. I laughed at the utter ridiculousness of my self-imposed suffering. With that epiphany, that simple shift of awareness, an enormous weight was lifted from me. Then, trading my hesitation for trust, I dove into the river.

It was nothing like the monster I made it out to be. Sure, the current was strong in some parts, but I’m a dolphin!

I could’ve swum upstream if I wanted. However, I decided to get out of my own way for the very first time in my life. I trusted. I flowed. Soon enough, the path of the river led to the ocean.

My world opened up, limitless. Other dolphins greeted me with love, ushering me into this new yet intensely familiar place.

“Home,” I thought to myself. “This feels like home.”

“Now the journey really begins…”
 

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The Power of Fiction

Ralph Waldo Emerson Fiction quote

Bold statement: Fiction can be a more effective teacher than nonfiction.

The epics, the classic myths, the primordial fables, the transcendent archetypes and the phenomenon of story have all been omnipresent undertones of human culture since time immemorial.

Fiction has the unique ability in which one can use words as arrows of intention to penetrate the infinite dimensions of abstraction. In other words, truths which exist beyond the limits of our collective analytical mind are able to be conveyed through fiction, metaphor and myth.

The deepest truths are often expressed in this way. Just take a look at any sacred text or brilliant piece of poetry. If they were to be written in a strictly analytical fashion, it would be confined to a sliver of interpreted reality. But with fiction, the words conform to the unique consciousness of the reader. They act as a range of possibility to be decoded subjectively, not a rigid pillar of force-fed predeterminacy.

Literary works can cut through and transcend cultural biases and blindness, giving the reader a taste of a completely “novel” reality (see what I did there?). It allows one to see outside of the box they’ve existed in their whole life, and presents the opportunity to step outside.

Along with being a vehicle for consciousness expansion, fiction comes with a whole host of other benefits as well…

The Benefits of Reading Fiction

  • Improves brain connectivity
  • Increases empathy (and better relationships as a direct result)
  • Reduces stress
  • Enhances memory
  • Increases imagination
  • Expands vocabulary
  • Enhances creativity
  • Increases happiness
  • Enhances focus
  • Helps you be yourself (instead of conforming because the weight of social pressure is released when reading fiction)
  • Helps with approaching and overcoming obstacles (the influence of the hero’s journey)
  • Sources:
    The Surprising Power of Reading Fiction
    7 Benefits Of Reading Literary Fiction You May Not Know

    Stephen King Fiction quote

    How You Can Help Support Fiction

    Speaking of fiction, I recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for my new novel Sozwik. CLICK HERE to view the campaign and provide your support.

    Expand your mind with the wisdom of fiction, embrace the power of story and dare to dream.

    Much love.

    – Stevie P!
     

     

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