28 Apr 2014

a River runs through it all

Recently I posted on Facebook:

fb: what are you thinking about
me: a lot.

I am guessing that describes you as well. Goodness knows we have so many things to consider, re-think, analyse, remember and decide about. It's like a busy six-lane highway chugged to the hilt with cars, many honking to demand immediate attention!

This past week, after dreaming, praying and writing about Life; what is more pressing and present seems just the stuff of life {small 'l'}:
- a decision that cannot be made but must in due time, so the engine is humming away
- the days of exams that are upon us
- the endless glancing at my calendar because appointments/needs/requests pop up, like my father-in-law coming down with vertigo and all that means
- my sister is going for a surgery where they will make a hole at the side of her skull in order to reach some blood vessels/nerves that need to be set right. (the condition is known as Hemifacial Spasm).
- some unchanging situations that simply drain you and so tend to take up one whole lane of your consciousness...

But then, I come across a different image. You have to see it:

a river runs through it all {click}

The story of Ishurdi is not all pretty. But, our stories are not unlike theirs. Our everyday lives are seldom instagram-chic quality and facebook fuddy-duddy.

Ishurdi means 'where God stays'.

It is small villages dotted along this mighty River in Bangladesh. This River that runs with a powerful force that shapes and cuts and defines. The River of Life.

We come to the River to camp and get. But the River of Life can sweep us up in its torrents and it is we who must learn to carve our lives around its winding ways or end up cut off.

Such a River frightens us so we prefer a faucet we can turn on and off at our whim. The way we do with God.

You would think that the folks who lived along the river in Ishurdi wish for a different life. Listen to these moving words from the interview:

we are happy.
we are grateful.
God has blessed us with so much.
we love to live by this river.

Us urbans probably feel like they are not wiser to other options. Perhaps so. But with all our multi-options, all we have is more cars piled high on more lanes of a busy highway!

I see the pictures of this river and all of its beauty and mourning and my soul calms down. The highway recedes and I enter into a different place. The river, God, speaks to me.

And I am drawn to the fierce river and the risks of living close to it and choose it once again over being on a highway I am pretending to be cruising along merrily on.

Life is a powerful river that moves. Move with it; and when it dislodges some things, let them go.

all pictures taken off site. Credits: Sarker Protick (Nat Geo).


  1. i love this jenni. i am moving right now. i'm trying to get rid of things and often have difficulty. do i need this? do i want it? is it functional anymore? do i have to many pretty things that combine to be a mess?

    thinking of a river that would cut thro' all that static would be helpful right now. today is our last day to empty the house. we still have much to put away in the apt....and more to get rid of.

    i wish i wouldn't agonize over it all. i love your post about these suffering people.

  2. Moving? That is always a massive endeavour for us urbans compared to the village folk for sure! May the River wash away everything that is clutter and allow your home life to flow soft, sweet, strong!


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