• Sam Baker

Day 202

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he is not the same man.


This morning the river is gray. Like poured lead. Dark gray in the sluggish middle lighter on both ends of sight line. One sight line is to the east and one sight line is to the southwest. The reflected lightt must have something to do with the angle of the river. The way it bends this way and that. Its turning demands different light from the world. Different light from the sky. I understand the east light with the rising sun with its bounce light blue-ish with its gray sub tones but I don't understand why the west would be less gray. Less molten. Shaded more like a powder blue color that the unformed west sky distilled and placed upon on the unmoving water. Or maybe it is in the color cones of my own retina. Complex. Driven by speculation. Driven by loose ends.

I have, since the pandemic began, stayed mostly in this small cabin on the bank of the river. The landscape seems to change everyday. Or maybe I change every day. Probably both.

I would change the phrasing of Heraclitus (whose name I have no idea how to pronounce). But I know what he was saying. But it sounds better to me to say:

no on ever steps in the same river twice, for it is never the same river and never the same person.

That seems like who I feel like today. And I understand the use of the word man I think to suggest an elevated species. Shorthand for humans. (The Phenomenon of Man by de Chardin is a good example). So maybe it is not a Heraclitus quote any more. Who knows. It is a translation from a long time ago. It is not like we have a way back machine for thousands of years. Or maybe we do. He was writing on tree bark or something. That is the evolution of a way back machine. Tree bark to paper to electrons.

Maybe too it is the evolution of language. Maybe it was his idea or maybe it was someone else's idea but maybe he sat by a river for 6 months. And thought:

Never the same river. Never the same person.

Things change. They change a lot.