Where the land meets the water

Land is not water, and water is not land. The river(s) where I stood and took this photograph, where I have stood many times, in which I have stood, especially in April, fishing for American shad, flows into the sea, which connects it to the world, to Trenton and Philadelphia, but also to Arkhangelsk and Szentendre. Water is not just in flux, it’s how we conceive of flux. Land is not just stable, it’s how we understand stabilitas, the ground on which we stand. Land is not water, and water is not land. Yet, they meet, and there is an exchange of gifts.

This spot, this particular tree and root, is also where the Musconetcong flows into the Delaware, exuberantly contributing the warmth of its shallower depths together with the attendant plant and animal life. Striped bass, migrating upriver on the tail fins of the shad run, know this intuitively (striper fishermen know it consciously). And you can actually see the separate waters of the Musky for a few hundred yards, glossy and silty, riding high on the host waters due to their relative warmth.

This spot, this tree, this root, this day. Sometimes the blood in your heart is drawn north and out. Out of the world. On such days, you can perceive the curve of the earth, and at the same time, your own composite nature as a hylomorph. There you stand. But your immeasurable soul, it exhales itself over the Caucasus, over the Black Sea at midnight, over Sevan island at high blue noon before Stalin turned it into a peninsula, even as your feet ascend the natural stair formed by tree roots toward the pleasant gray expanse of a New Jersey parking lot.