Blog post #8: A river does not make detours

I have managed to live almost three years in the beautiful city of Lüneburg without having done what I wanted to do since my arrival: Finding myself on the river Ilmenau. Today was the day. I picked up a kayak and went on my first solo kayaking trip. My focus of today (which I noted down this morning in my Klarheit Journal): pleasure in and with my nature.

I know the river from cycling to work, walking and running by. And in a prior post I was simply sitting at it´s shore. Anyways. Although I was actually excited to see where the river goes as sometimes it makes a turn and is out of site from the forest path, today I caught myself thinking: It makes a detour, going back again before it makes a turn to lead in a certain direction, where I used to follow it along. I analyzed my thoughts, and thought: A river does not make detours. Wherever a river flows it nourishes the landscape. A river does not make detours. A river flows. A turn here, a turn there.

I detected societal norms in my thinking: I knew where the river flows by, so I was in the “what is the direct, quickest way from-A-to-B”-mode. I remember clearly something one of my professors in France said about our “aim” to be always efficient and fast: “What for?”, she asked, “to be quicker at the end?” I liked her point. Why do we hurry so much? Why do we sometimes only allow ourselves to look straight ahead, potentially missing out what´s just next to us?

I took a lot of looks around today and I found peace in floating on the river, just like the nutria, the ducks, observing birds singing sitting on little twigs in the reed.

No, a river does not make detours. A river flows. And wherever the river flows, it provides for life.

Reflecting upon recent generations, there are some who are/were quickly “done”/ready for the labor market because a straight way was followed. There are also some who did some things here and other stuff there.

I did, if you want, what we usually refer to as “detours”. I did not follow a straight line after finishing school. I was not quickly “done” or “ready” for a specific labor market. Not at all, I´d say.

I can proudly say: So far, I was like a river. In my terms, I did not take what society would call “detours” though. I took turns. I flowed. Nourishing – and being nourished. By each landscape, each (eco-)system I crossed.

No. A river does not take detours. A river flows, and provides for life.

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