The burden of happiness can only be relieved by the balm of suffering – Shantaram
It is the soul that will forever burn within the body even if its embers glow dark orange and smoulder in the mourning of a lost spirit. A flame, an energy that will never be extinguished as long as the heart pumps in its rhythmic chorus within the chest. Like the sorrow followed by triumph of the phoenix, the spirit may burn and turn to ash but its seed has already been planted. The soul sits in the depth of the deepest emotional sea, its skin does not corrode as the sunken steal ships lost in pointless battles, but it grows in size as the numerous layers of coral grow on its energy and the ashy sediment from burned spirits settle on its surface to solidify into a hard impregnable fortress of hope. The sole stokes its fire and burns bright to nurture the spirit to life like the sun’s radiant heat that blossoms wild flowers in a greater number and density as before. You may kill my spirit but you will never touch my sole. You can cut my heart from my chest and grip it until the flesh pulps between your fingers, but still, you will never touch my soul.
Brittle and fractured like the hanging willow branches that lay limp from the cold frost of the snowy mountain ranges in the north east. Shredded like the life vest found without the young girls body from the discrete force of the raging waters. Incinerated like the cowering shadows at mid-day by the ferocious glare of the sun. Blown away into oblivion like the ashes from a sailors upturned urn at sea. This is my spirit, laid out upon this river in segments as every element took its bite on my way down its spine. Shattered into a million shards of glass that lay at rest upon the muddy opaque bottom. Defeated and destroyed, my spirit had no fight left with three days to finish when the unruly winds blew its serrated edge gale into my face for twelve consecutive excruciating hours of restless, crawling progress. It was if the river was blowing me back into its bowels for digestion. I turned into camp three hours after sunset with dried acidic tears that streaked my cheeks and a will to fall asleep that night and never awake from the miserable throbbing pain that consumed my aching body.
Full of confidence and premature pride, I thought this river was mine. I was certain that I would lasso its current and ride the beast until it submitted under my perseverance with only three days to go, but I was wrong. Life’s most powerful lesson in gaining experience is to be humbled. And once again I have become. This river is not ‘conquerable’ by man, no human should ever claim to possess the power of taming and controlling this mighty giant. We are only granted passage if it so desires you to be worthy of its title. I respected it but I also taunted its potential for destruction. I deserved this elemental lashing and I study the welts left upon my ego and pride to prevent a future recurrence. I’m fortunate for these lessons learned as the reminder of lost loved ones litter the banks with crosses and memorial stones while I glide on past. I’m lucky to have lived and learned, I’m fortunate to have lucked out and been granted the chance to try again.
Two more days to go... Two more days to tempt fate and cross the largest and most dangerous part of the journey, Lake Alexandrina. A good predicted forecast confirms an understanding between Murray and man, Its telling us we are being allowed to cross.
Time to finish this.