Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Carpe Diem #563, River

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we have river for prompt and I will 'write out of box' because I love to go in to a deeper layer. Why? I will tell you ... Herman Hesse wrote the wonderful, fictive, novel titled 'Siddhartha' in which he describes the story of a young Brahman-son named Siddhartha ... the same as the Buddha ... After a long time he ends up at a river becoming the ferryman ... Siddhartha learns a lot from the older ferryman and finally finds "his truth" in the river from which he says:

[...] "It is this what you mean, isn't it: that the river is everywhere at once, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the rapids, in the sea, in the mountains, everywhere at once, and that there is only the present time for it, not the shadow of the past, not the shadow of the future?" [...]

River's well
As the time passes Siddhartha encountered his son and lost him again, because the boy wouldn't live in poverty, because he had a life in richness. As his son has gone he (Siddhartha) sat down at the river together with his 'master' Vasudeva, the old ferryman, and they listen to the river.

[...] They listened. Softly sounded the river, singing in many voices. Siddhartha looked into the water, and images appeared to him in the moving water: his father appeared, lonely, mourning for his son; he himself appeared, lonely, he also being tied with the bondage of yearning to his distant son; his son appeared, lonely as well, the boy, greedily rushing along the burning course of his young wishes, each one heading for his goal, each one obsessed by the goal, each one suffering. The river sang with a voice of suffering, longingly it sang, longingly, it flowed towards its goal, lamenting its voice sang. [...]

Siddhartha discovers that he has to be like the river, and that time not exists, that's what he learns from the river ... and that, my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, is how I see the river as a metaphor for life itself, for not being on one place ... the river ... from it's well to it's delta is the greatest teacher we have in the nature around us ... look at the river, look really to the river ... and than ... well ... it will be magical.

A last quote from Siddhartha, as he is speaking with his old friend Govinda while sitting at the river I love to share here ... it's something Siddhartha tells about his master Vasudeva:

[...] "He had noticed that the river's spoke to him, he learned from it, it educated and taught him, the river seemed to be a god to him, for many years he did not know that every wind, every cloud, every bird, every beetle was just as divine and knows just as much and can teach just as much as the worshipped river. But when this holy man went into the forests (a metaphor for dying), he knew everything, knew more than you and me, without teachers, without books, only because he had believed in the river." [...]

Isn't it a wonderful thought? To see the river as a teacher, just by listening to its gurgling, look at it's clearness, it's everlasting journey ... the river has been everywhere and brings far away places to us ... as we listen to the river ... it can tell us wonderful stories.

I hope you did like this post and I hope you didn't see it like a sermon, because I am not a preacher, I am just a humble man who listens to the river, or ... to nature. In nature we can find knowledge, wisdom ...

For this episode I decided not to use a haiku by Jane Reichhold, because it wouldn't fit into this post, but I love to share a poem here by Julian Mann on

River feeling is
As simple as
Closing your eyes
For a moment.

Everything flows like river

River feeling is
As smooth as
Everything after
The first step.

Everything flows like river

River feeling is
easy as forgetting
Walking boots.

Everything flows like river

River feeling is
nice as
iron ties
Coming off.

Everything flows like river
Everything flows like river
Everything flows like river
Everything is good and flows
like river

As I read this poem by Julian Mann ... I think that he knew the story of Siddhartha and his river, but maybe that's not true, I don't know, but what I can say ... this poem is very similar to the feeling I got form reading Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. (!! the quotes from Siddhartha are from the Project Gutenberg version of Siddhartha !!)

high in the mountains
crystal clear water gives birth to a river -
I light a candle

© Chèvrefeuille

Wow! ... the river has done me a favour ... it inspired me in a strange way almost magical ....
!! All three photos are from Free Big Pictures !!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until September 20th at noon (CET). I will post our new episode, Vineyards, later on. For now ... listen to your inner river of wisdom and find the right words to compose a haiku inspired on this post.


  1. Oh I love this book by Hermann Hesse. Read many passages several times and with my love for the river it meant even more to me. Great post with many insights on which to reflect. Thank you:)

  2. Hello Kristjaan --

    First of all -- thank you for another wonderful post! It's been ages since I read Siddhartha and this will be a wonderful challenge. The poem by Julian Mann is very inspiring -- as is your own haiku -- :D

    And the links are so helpful.
    With the story of Siddhartha and all the extra information ... just ... thank you!

  3. While my little creek is not so clear as a river...
    sometimes when the sunlight and shadow play just right
    I can see the mud bottom and the creatures that live within.

    Water is magic!

    An enchanted post flowed from your pen :)

  4. There was a lot of philosophy that could be said about the river and its flow, and you said it. You really got into the theme there and displayed it. One of the most fascinating posts you have done, though of coure they are all interesting on their own merit. Must have taken hours.

  5. Thanks very much for this fantastic post .. I did so love reading the quotes from Siddhartha and fount the who "ensamble" very inspiring .. a nice way to open a morning! Namaste!

  6. Wonderful and enlightening from you novice follower.