Monday, October 6, 2014

The Same River Twice

I live just a hop skip and a jump from the Canning River. It flows on under the Canning Bridge, meets the Swan River and the two of them, having become inseparable, continue as one all the way to Fremantle and the Indian Ocean.

It is a fine thing to sit by a river, watching it flow; to be firmly planted on one shore, daydreaming about the other. The river flows. Time passes. Thoughts sparkle and play in the dancing light, then, as if inexorably drawn by the currents, flow, drift, float on by.

The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, saw the world as ever-changing, always in a state of flux. It was he who said you can't step into the same river twice - or, more correctly:

'Everything changes and nothing remains cannot step twice into the same stream.'

Each time I sit beside it - in a riverside cafe, on the end of a jetty, on a grassy or rocky bank - the river is new.  It is a different river, always changing, never still. Strange, then, that here,  making the coloured marks that paint a picture on my page, a kind of stillness settles and in it, there is an echo, a memory, a reflection of eternity.

I am reminded of William Blake's poem, 'Auguries of Innocence':

'To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.'

Some river sketches, a small collection - same river, different river.
Same difference.


  1. I love this post, both the images and the designed way we are allowed to see the changing river. Growing up at the beach i know how much my own little beach (I thought it was mine) changed daily . . .

  2. This is an excellent story and your paintings reflect your description. There is so much promise here and my hope is that we shall see more. I love your thoughts on change and alteration and the truth that we are thankfully allowed those fleeting glimpses into the transcendental realm--"intimations of immortality"!!