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Paradox Along the Arkansas River: Images of Life and Death

As I walk along the path beside the Ark River, I have been paying attention to the paradoxes of the beautiful things (wildlife, flowers) and the ugly things (trash). I plan to post a weekly picture of one of these paradoxes.

I think the following Mary Oliver poem, from the book Red Bird, is a fitting introduction.

From This River, When I Was a Child, I Used to Drink

But when I came back I found

that the body of the river was dying. 

 

"Did it speak?"

 

Yes, it sang out the old songs, but faintly.

 

"What will you do?"

 

I will grieve of course, but that's nothing.

 

"What, precisely, will you grieve for?"

 

For the river. For myself, my lost

joyfulness. For the children who will not

know what a river can be - a friend, a

companion, a hint of heaven.

 

"Isn't this somewhat overplayed?"

 

I said: it can be a friend. A companion. A

hint of heaven.