Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Writing and kayaking: where worlds overlap

Meandering rivers & minds
This past weekend I went kayaking with my husband and daughter.  We parked by a little lake and proceeded to launch our kayaks. Ready to go exploring, we had all been eying the source creek to our left. 

We didn’t get far into the creek before the lake disappeared and all sounds common to a lake full of campers were so dimmed that only the birds, movement of water and occasional flying wasp were heard.  I had deliberately let my husband and daughter slide on ahead of me and pass beyond the next curve just so I could take in that feeling that I was somewhere far from civilization. 

Along the banks were tight growths of trees, many of which have been undercut by resent high water flow, some having fallen partially across the creek added to the untouched feel of the place.  The cardinals and black ducks complained at our presence, and the fish were well camouflaged by the turbid water. 

I allowed the pretense of being utterly alone soak in.  Much of the sky was blocked by the canopy of trees overhead, but what showed was pale blue with occasional slashes of white clouds.  We had set out on a windy day, yet on that creek, no breeze stirred the trees, and along some lengths of the meandering river even the water was torpid and silty, where slender, curved leaves floated in stillness.

This same sense of being alone and in a untenanted place happens when I write.  The rest of the room I am in disappears and just the images filling the screen in front of me and the soft clack of the keyboard are my world.  I suppose that is why I enjoy kayaking alone so much, even if only a turn in the river up ahead creates the illusion.  The two experiences mirror each other.  I am exploring an unknown space of my own creation, my imagination building up a world.  But like the turn of the river ahead, a turn of my chair brings family up close again.

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