#345-1. The path of least resistance makes all rivers, and some men, crooked.
-Napoleon Hill, author (1883-1970)
#345-2. An individual human existence should be like a river: small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.
-Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)
#345-3. Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.
-A. A. Milne author (1882-1956)
A river f! orms a powerful motif in Herman Hesse’s Siddartha, who finally learns useful insights from a river. Rivers, I think, hold a fascination for humans, more than oceans, and definitely, lakes and ponds. Oceans beckon with mystery and danger but they also overwhelm—rivers, on the other hand, we relate to. A river seems to be the perfect metaphor for how we perceive our lives. Flowing, flowing, always moving inevitably further, encountering obstacles, overcoming them or changing direction… Nourishing those en route, also collecting and carrying unwanted baggage, appearing to meander aimlessly at times, at other times purposefully seeking the path to merge with the final destination, the ocean…
Of course, one may prefer, instead of this philosophical musing, to gape at this interactive mapping of rivers by National Geographic. Or figure out why genders are associated with rivers, not only in India where Ganga is feminine and Brahmaputra masculine, but also in other countries.