What The River Says, That Is What I Say.

by | Apr 6, 2005

In a post titled, “What is Real?”, Evelyn Rodriguez says, “I’d rather be real than great. I have never gained anything I truly wanted from a pure pursuit of greatness. I’m not saying these two are mutually exclusive, but the focus can lead one astray. Nothing kills relationships – personal and professional – quicker than when I stop being real. It’s costly in the tangible cash realm too.”

She goes on to quote a few lines from this William Stafford poem.

Ask Me

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.

Rodriguez’s quest for real is refreshing and brave.

Stafford’s poem is an icy cold splash of clean Oregon water.

Being real is dangerous work. People are frightened by real and frightened people are often dangerous people. I know. I’ve had a gun pulled on me by a frightened person. I’ve also been fired from my job by more than one frightened boss. So, I applaud and support the desire to live one’s truth, whatever it may be. It’s never easy, but for those inclined to forge such a path, living falsely is to inhabit even more treacherous terrain.