a river changes course

2

The Forest of Dean. I came here once with Mum and Dad, years ago. It’s just how I remember it. The trees, the river… everything, like nothing’s changed. Not true, of course. Everything’s changed. If I brought my parents back here now they probably wouldn’t recognize any of it. Not the trees, or the river… not even me.

3

Time is our greatest obsession. Who has not dreamed of returning to the past, of changing the future? Imagine the power. To see how our choices affect our lives, and then return to undo them. Endless possibilities. Imagine the freedom to cross time and journey through the ages. The freedom to change the past, and bend history to your will. What would you do if you had that power? Could you eradicate the mistakes of history, and build a perfect future? Or would you be subject to fate, and be swept down the river of time… …powerless to change your course?

3

“Rivers change course over many lifetimes, and eventually all bridges tumble down. A thousand years ago there was another city on this spot. The people carved the bones of whales and inscribed them with my Mark. Children still find them washed up in the river-mud.”

Excellent history fact to remember;

Niccolo Machiavelli and Leonardo Da Vinci, most likely at the behest of the Borgias, once conspired to steal a river.

That’s right folks. They planned to change the course of the Arno River so that they could steal it from Pisa and make Florence accessible by sea. 

Please take a moment to imagine that.

Please. 

3

Forest of Dean. I came here once with Mum and Dad. That was years ago. It’s just how I remember it. The trees, the river, everything. Like nothing’s changed… not true of course. Everything’s changed. If I brought them back here now, they’d probably not recognize any of it. Not the trees, not the river… not even me. Maybe we should just stay here, Harry. Grow old…

You lie in bed at 4:30 in the morning
wishing her hair would wash over you
like river silt and change the course you’re on.
A good word would be meander.
It’s a breath, more than you ever wanted
to spend on the way suffering bends
like an elbow or a stream in your backyard
that sometimes you go to
and lie down with the aigtating dragonflies
and the mud that’s warm without
another body, another world, winter, summer—
all this is what you cant stand to lose, what can be borne.
You tell yourself tomorrow’s heart is lost already, go on.

Paul Guest, from “Full Life,” The Resurrection of the Body and the Ruin of the World (New Issues, 2003)

X Marks the Spot – A Soul Mate AU

Everyone, without exception, is born on the same day at the exact time as their soul mate.  In order to find each other, a small map depicting where an individual’s soul mate is at any given time floats across his or her skin.  Back in the earliest age of human existence, the maps were useful.  A big hill here, a small canyon there, and it was fairly easy to navigate.

In the modern age—the marks were all but useless because humans had altered the terrain so much.  Hills were turned into roads, valleys were filled in, dams changed the course of rivers.  If there was ever proof needed that global warming was real, some maps showed people along coasts that were under water in reality.  The evolutionary process that governed the marks clearly couldn’t keep up with how fast humans changed the environment.

The maps were in fact only useful if someone was at a location the other recognized from familiarity with the area.  Or if two soul mates came within close proximity to each other and the maps zoomed in to let them know they were close.  Of course, that was only helpful if the mark wasn’t currently in an inconvenient place, like someone’s backside.

Dean knew that his soul mate had grown up on the water.  Literally.  The floating mark was almost always a beautiful shade of blue-green with hint of a white coastline.  His parents had suggested that he or she might live on a houseboat.  A lot of times his soul mate map turned completely blue.  Dean couldn’t imagine going so far out to sea that he couldn’t see land.  Of course, he lived in Kansas and had never seen the ocean before.  He wondered what his soul mate must think to see that his or her mark was always golden brown and never near any water larger than a small lake.

Keep reading

Nothing has changed.
Except for the courses of rivers,
the contours of forests, seashores, deserts, and icebergs.
Among these landscapes the poor soul winds,
vanishes, returns, approaches, recedes.
A stranger to itself, evasive,
at one moment sure, the next unsure of its existence,
while the body is and is and is
and has no place to go.
—  Wisława Szymborska, from “Torture,” trans. Joanna Trzeciak, in Miracle Fair (Norton, 2001)
3

What is this place, Granger? Forest of Dean. I came here once with Mom and Dad. That was years ago. It’s just how I remember it. The trees, the river, everything. Like nothing’s changed… not true of course. Everything’s changed. If I brought them back here now, they’d probably not recognize any of it. Not the trees, not the river… not even me. Maybe we should just stay here, Draco. Grow old..

3

I decided to check out the maps of both towns and lo and behold, there are a lot of similarities.

If we assume that it’s the same river running through each town, it looks like River Heights might be a bit west of Titusville… but over time, it wouldn’t be unusual for the river’s course to have been changed a bit by the growing development of the town.

Another big similarity is the train route - the station in Titusville is in the NE region of the map, where we also see River Heights’s station (50)!

The differences in the details of the town can simply be chalked up to the town’s growth over the years. Still, there are some comparisons to be made: for instance, the Lodge and motels in the SW corner of River Heights are in the approximate location of the Lilac Inn in Titusville. The bare and expansive Harrison Park in River Heights is the relative size of the Observatory’s lot in Titusville.

Oh, to be sure, there is much we do not understand. The years pass in their hundreds and their thousands, and what does any man see of life but a few summers, a few winters? We look at mountains and call them eternal, and so they seem… but in the course of time, mountains rise and fall, rivers change their courses, stars fall from the sky, and great cities sink beneath the sea. Even gods die, we think. Everything changes.
—  from A Clash of Kings by G.R.R. Martin