I was watching the news last night where a man was standing on a recently erected wall. On one side was Vicksburg, Mississippi’s historic district which was eight feet under water. On the other side was the rest of the town, relatively dry. The roughly constructed barricade was made of railroad ties and tar, and supported by steel beams. Along the bottom were a few places where water was spurting out. I could almost feel the pressure of the water from the opposite side of the wall. It was aching to expand, trying anyway it could to push through and swamp the rest of the town. It was easy to picture this happening and by now, maybe this has occurred.
It makes me feel insignificant in the span of time and place in which I live. Like another ice-age, this water-age that is upon us pales our existence. It does not discriminate. It is a clean slate, washing the shades of many years worth of work away in an instant. Those years of toil and creation which chronicle a family’s life become a moment on a geologic timetable, and the moment itself swallowed, becoming indistinguishable from another, an aberration in an otherwise productive life. The river water and silt also take with it proof of life. The residue of love and misery, of hard times and joy, are veiled in a watery grave.
Today while I write, I will mine the waters of my brain; sift through the silt and sediment in order to find the clarity left behind before the last ice age. Like the water behind the wall, I know my ideas are aching to expand, to push through and swamp my conscious mind. If I could, I would stand on a wall, my writers block, and watch it all come crashing through. But I will have to settle for my perspective, here at my desk, dry-docked, and wondering where the high water mark will settle.