This trail cannot always follow the river. In time, the river will change course due to landslides, fallen trees, earthquakes, perhaps volcanic eruption. Creeks and springs, which feed the river, will chew chunks out of rock, ground, the shell the trail is constructed upon. Trail closures are frequent. The hiker, disappointed beauty is blocked from easy reach, urges rebuilding, reconstruction. A new trail is placed down, wandering, slightly in a new direction, easier or harder, carved to track the new stretch of river…..who, like the old trail cannot always follow the river. The hiker, then, looks for means to keep the river within the same path, to hold beauty within continual grasp. Dikes, retaining walls, dams, aqueducts, and canals are built. This grasp cannot always follow the river.


(Alternative title, “Beauty and the River”)

32 Comments on “Grasp

  1. Pingback: GRASP – The Solitary Mind

  2. That photo is of the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge, now closed due to a forest fire caused by a kid who threw fireworks over that ledge in the photo


  3. reminds me of my Mtn biking days, trying to preserve the trails and allowing for natural changes

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like Grasp for the title. I love the analogy on life and relationships… the trail is full of challenges but essentially the nature of our spirit is to keeping going, find ways to continue on the trail…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That incongruent metal intrusion on the left epitomizes your text, And I like the title you used better than the alternate because of the implications. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful write Elan. I hiked much in my youth but this trail would probably not one I would have ventured onto…physically, that is. Really good photo as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely, layered piece!
    The river is a force and will have its way. One of my favorite quotes by Wendell Berry:
    “Men may dam it and say that they have made a lake, but it will still be a river. It will keep its nature and bide its time, like a caged animal alert for the slightest opening. In time, it will have its way; the dam, like the ancient cliffs, will be carried away piecemeal in the currents.”

    Liked by 3 people

  8. A lovely piece for work. The contrast between the beginning (how nature will change the river) and the end (how the hiker wishes to keep it the same) was really effective. I also liked the alliteration of ‘chew chunks’.

    Great work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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