“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food.” Anthony Bourdain

the mississippi river empties into the gulf
and the gulf enters the sea and so forth,
none of them emptying anything,
all of them carrying yesterday
forever on their white tipped backs,
all of them dragging forward tomorrow.
it is the great circulation
of the earth’s body, like the blood
of the gods, this river in which the past
is always flowing. every water
is the same water coming round.
everyday someone is standing on the edge
of this river, staring into time,
whispering mistakenly:
only here. only now.
— Lucille Clifton

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.
— Ernest Hemingway

A feather’s not a bird
The rain is not the sea
A stone is not a mountain
But a river runs through me
— Rosanne Cash, A Feather’s Not a Bird


I would love to live

Like a river flows

Carried by the surprise

Of its own unfolding.

— John O’Donohue, Conamara Blues

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
— Martin Buber, The Legend of the Baal-Shem

Rivers are the true highways of life. They transport the ancient tears of disappeared races, they propel the foams that will impregnate the millennium. In flood or in sullen repose, the river’s power cannot be overestimated, and only men modernized to the point of moronity will be surprised when rivers eventually take their revenge on those who dam and defile them. River gods, some muddy, others transparent, ride those highways, singing the world’s inexhaustible song.”
— Tom Robbins, The Day the Earth Spit Warthogs

“Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into. You are undertaking the first experience, not of the place, but of yourself in that place. It is an experience of our essential loneliness, for nobody can discover the world for anybody else. It is only after we have discovered it for ourselves that it becomes a common ground and a common bond, and we cease to be alone.”
— Wendell Berry, The Unforeseen Wilderness: Kentucky’s Red River Gorge


It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.

It could, you know. That’s why we wake
and look out – no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.

— William Stafford

“How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you?”  — Meno

If you hold yourselves still and silent now, you can feel that river running behind you, running through the night, running through all time.  It’s good to have music near a river; there’s this idea of baptism, of absolution, no matter what you believe.  Better yet, it’s good to have music near a place where two rivers come together, a confluence – for what are we but a confluence – a confluence that lives and breathes, a confluence of dream and song, a confluence of twenty two thousand beating hearts.  And so here we are, cradled by a river in a sanctuary of sound, craving consecration, exaltation, on bended knee, seeking benediction.”
— Michael Perry at the Eaux Claires Festival, July, 2015 at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers