The Bottom Of The River

The River, bottom and top

This morning, over coffee, a sort of sun beam broke through the clouds.

My wife had just read the Day 59 installment of my “Today In 1918” series. We talked about the story. In listening to her, I had a bit of an epiphany, as I mentioned, a sort of sun beam.

The clouds, which if you’ve been around me you already know, symbolize my usual state of mind. The occasional shafts of light almost always follow from talks with my wife.

If you haven’t read Day 59, you’ll find it here.

It’s probably a good idea for you to take a moment and digest this true story. Maybe a couple of moments. Linger for a few seconds over the final, bolded part.

I’ve had a lot of people react to my imagery of the River bottom.

“Dan, what exactly do you mean by the bottom?”

I envision the bottom of the River as the inner you. It is your most animating beliefs, principles, ideas, and assumptions. When it comes to the deepest invisibles, the most basic things in your mind, heart, soul, and spirit, they are the Bottom of the River. On any given minute of any given hour of any given day, they provide life as to you.

(Note: I’ve excluded that overused word, values. Not a slam, it’s just my call.)

(Note also: I’ve excluded such terms as philosophy, worldview, faith, and so on. In my lexicon, they are the bundles, packages, and products of the “most basic things” that I referenced above. That’s not a criticism or a knock, either. It’s just that my “most basic things” are the components or particles that comprise the larger set. My call.)

The nature of Covid-19 in 2020 is the nature of influenza in 1918. It dives down to the River Bottom. Down to the smallest space of a place and the smallest piece of a person. The fatalities and morbidities and proportions are different in the two eras, thank God, but in how the two pandemics penetrate the world of people they affect, they are really the same.

And so you go down to the Bottom of the River in our pandemic’s flow of time. That’s where you’ll touch the inner being. Work on it. Work on it there. Amid the thousand million things you’re trying to sort out in the pandemic’s pandemonium, spend real energy and effort at the Bottom of the River. You never know when the Bottom will be so clear and distinct again. Seen one way, you might even view the clarity and distinctiveness as a gift.

All of this calls a song to mind. I offer it as music; that’s my only message. Thanks for reading and be well.