I’ve already posted that I have a bit of a strange relationship with my local river, the Elbe. However, while I was running next to the river and thinking about how I could form a relationship with the river, I thought about what the river does.

The river transports things — mostly water, I suppose — away. If I make an offering to the river here, it’ll wind up, eventually, either on the banks or in the North Sea.

And that’s the point at which I realized how I could try and bond with my local river. I have things — specifically thoughts and feelings — that I’d like to transport away from me. In writing about my family in the Fire Friend moon, I said that I tend to compare myself too much to my brother and other siblings.

So, I tried something: Now, when I realize I’m thinking what I could call ‘poisonous thoughts,’ but now call ‘Elbe thoughts,’ I visualize casting the thought from where I am to the Elbe, and tell myself it’s gone. Then, of course, I try to move on to my next thought.

I suppose there’s something to discuss about whether or not what I’m doing brings any benefit, or if I could do it without thinking about the Elbe helping me. And, maybe one day I’ll try to write about it. For now, what matters to me is that I feel like it works and it seems to comfort me some.

My concern in this whole thing is this: I realized I needed to form a relationship with my river, and immediately my thoughts went to ‘what can this river do for me?’ I’m trying to accept that that’s who I am right now, but I’d like to think that, in the future, I might turn into a person who decides to form a relationship with the river, and does not immediately result in me looking for ways to benefit myself.

That’s what gets me: I’m such a habitual taker. More than worrying about how to form a relationship with the local river, I’m worried about how I understand relationships, and how to form healthy ones.


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