I love this picture because it represents the river through Spokane and the dramatic turbulence of the water with the turbulence of the sky. They both have their frames in the shorelines and buildings. The wild force of the river among the solidity of the land. They each have a language, a voice: the river louder and more forceful, a closer representative to the motion of time – its borders hint at the channels and trends that carry the time metaphor further.
And while this is a Spring/Summer scene, with no ice in sight, it reminds me of a poem by William Stafford – one of a handful of poets to master the simplicity of the English language in all its complexity. His poem called “Ask Me” is available many places online, so I happily reprint it here.
Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.
I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.
– William Stafford
Thank you for indulging my love of images and poetry with our time together.