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The River (A Short Story)

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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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Poetry: Surprise! It’s Life

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Unpredictability
Perpetual flux
An endless series
Of unforeseen mystery

Just when you think
You have it all figured out
Surprise
Curveball
Keep that ego in check

We can try to create buffers
Chasing the mirage of perfection
Faking invincibility
Feigning protection

But all in all
We are utterly unguarded
Wholly exposed
Altogether vulnerable
To the whimsical whims of the universe

Yet paradox prevails
For it is in surrender
Not resistance
Where we find our strength
Our infinite power

Take that leap of faith
Dive into the river of life
And see where it takes you

Every experience
Is surprisingly perfect
For your personal growth
And ethereal purpose