Too Much to Hold
Burnt Pond Brook, Adirondacks, NY.
It's not a popular destination. In fact, it is so nowhere that you would probably never find yourself on the road paralleling the creek, much less pay more than a second glance at the pitiful flow. But it's a place that I push pinned onto my brain at some point, and I found myself there a while ago, after a few days of rain. Too much too hold, the mountains hunched and refused any more, and the water poured down the sides of every fold to the bottom of their creases, an infinite array of channels. My little canyon, normally a trickle, was a blast of whitewater. I stumbled and slid down the bank on wet leaves, trying to avoid blowdown, to follow the water a ways along its run. The roar of a raging stream has always been hypnotizing to me, the volume and tone alternatively soothing and alarming, drawing me forward while applying the brakes, trying to keep alert because of the treachery of the wet rocks and holes, falls and pitfalls. On a solid platform at last, I got some footing and squatted, with gear, on the edge of the downflow. I look at the image now, and dip my hand into the water, feeling the power as it moves, and microscopically deepens and widens the waterbed through which it flows. It seems on this day like it might as well be rage, that a tipping point was reached, a line was crossed. There are times when it feels like the skies open up on my territory, and I’ve had those thoughts, felt that I’ve been wronged, and after keeping them inside too long, let them fly out of me in a flood of frustration, down a gorge of previous emotions. We dig ever downward, I guess, trying to get to the bottom of things, but in the commotion can't see what's under the debris we remove. When it all calms down, the rage is just a memory, but what we find can be ugly. There's no real satisfaction, only a heart that has been eroded away a little bit more. I'm so tired of knowing the truth, that’s not only den