It sometimes seems like my life has been framed with the vignette of old spruce hanging over the river with a snow-capped mountain in the distance behind me. In my mind, I am still using all of my strength and all of my skill; my lungs are pushing me as my shoulders pull. I am a monster fighting to become the seamless and smooth on a ripple in the earth. A fault line, a creek that offers me the best that I have to give. The choice is mine, my lungs have filled with fresh cool spruce soaked air as my hands have gripped the paddle.
Into the river that never leaves me, I'm drawn by the raw power, rage without anger. Benevolent yet stifling, there is an art that exists here, a pendulum that must be timed to a moment of a breath.
The risk is simply breathing, it's between those breaths that I really live. The decisions I make between paddle strokes, striving to match the vision in my mind. We are always at the edge of something, always afraid to breathe, but we do, and we must. When the light becomes soft, and the quiet smoke becomes wedges that defy gravity I realize somehow, I am a part of it, or moreover, it's a part of me.
This life on the river... I just need one more breath.