Moving Water

What makes us do the weird, crazy stuff that we often do on a regular basis? I justify myself by making up grand spiritual aspirations which, in truth, are a load of shit that I use to convince myself and those around me that I am not the self-centered and self-gratifying person that I am. My AA program seeks to move us toward caring and giving to others—not working.
One of weird, crazy things that I love to justify is whitewater paddling. I go to great lengths to romanticize the sport/pastime. Yes, it is exhilarating and a great way to spend free time. But I really want to make more of it.
The mystery of moving water and what moves over, on, and under it keeps many of us transfixed. We search for places where the Spirit is strong, saying nothing of this to one another. Nonetheless, we feel it and see it occasionally in each other’s eyes. We seek strong fast water and convince ourselves that we have the power to glide gracefully over it and avoid the places that can draw us under and keep us.
We must think we are gods of sorts, but truth be told, we egg each other on and to push our limits. This is good, in a way, because we grow in paddling strength and confidence. That is until we are reminded by the river that we are indeed human. The river slaps and takes us down a notch or two. But to save face, we are drawn back to try it again and again until we succeed and again convince ourselves and perhaps those around us that we are stronger than the river and that we are the alpha paddler. What a load of mystery/shit.
Copyright © 2009 Mark Holmberg. All rights reserved.


Jack woke late in the morning after another night of sleep that felt like hibernation. Throwing his feet on the floor he bolted for the bathroom. His puffy round face and Kicking Bird hair greeted him once again as he pulled on a starched shirt covering his chest, just his neck protruding above a blue tie with brown and red fishing fly print. He usually did not wear ties, but he had a meeting scheduled and knew everyone else in attendance would be dressed in coat and tie.
Copyright © 2009 Mark Holmberg. All rights reserved.