on rivers & the melting away of ego - 


I'm finding the most healing experiences I encounter all have a common thread. They all aid in untangling the knots of ego. This is no easy task when raised within a culture that applauds the narcissism that has become so central to daily existence. 

The place I first experienced the dissolving of my own ego was underwater, and since that first liquid merging, the feeling has seeped into all aspects of my life. When I am suspended between the ancient walls of a water-carved canyon, I am not an individual, but a part of the river; the same as the water, the rock, the salmon, the crayfish, the suspended leaves. And if I am a part of this river then so it is that I find myself a part of the ocean - a drop in this blue planet.

And how humbled I am to find myself held in the paradox of such insignificance. How it sinks in that the way I spend my life matters, and at the same time knowing that it does not matter any more than the life of the salmon who hangs suspended in stillness in front of me. The salmon who has just come from the deep sea all the way upstream; salt-soaked wisdom so apparent in her disheveled scales and ragged tail. The salmon who has spawned and who before my eyes I watch die right there on the riverbed. How it is not death or sadness that fills the river in her absence, but the opposite. In her selfless dying I see the very heart of life itself for the first time. 

And so through my days I try my best to always carry with me the humbling, home-coming truth of my interdependence with the world around me. For this truth is medicine for the lost and for the homesick.

April Bencze