(Mont Tremblant, Quebec - Winter 2009)
It's 2AM. My mind is in a spin. Thoughts are racing so fast that I can't catch them.
It's 3AM. I've left the house the way you leave when you don't know where you or going or why - just that you had to get up and go.
I am driving down a country road. It's a crisp, chilly evening that smells like winter.
My mood is jagged and sharp. I taste blood in my mouth from an apparent injury I do not remember. The red juice is dripping from the corner of my lips. I find a napkin in the cup holder and I place it over the wound. It's as if I have been kidnapped and gagged and in a way I have.
I pull into an empty lot by a long abandoned sawmill. I turn the engine off and I step outside. I immediately feel the deep freeze run through my bones.
Clouds of smoke exit my mouth the moment my breath makes contact with the air.
Rivers are mighty. They own whatever and whomever enters them. They control the balance between life and death. You have to respect a river.
I am transfixed - a witness to its teeth and claws tearing through everything in its way.
I can't feel my hands or feet. The wind is blowing through my every pore and my bones feel like they may crack and land in a pile by my feet.
Still, I am captivated by the dark rage of the river and so I stay for what seems to be forever.
I feel the presence of another living being.
I turn around and a black wolf with yellow eyes is staring me down.
He watches me. He anticipates what will happen next long before I can ascertain. He is is so incredibly beautiful. He stands his ground observing my body shake. He seems to be telling me something but I can't figure it out.
I know not to run and whatever force has brought me here on this night to this river - to this wolf - entices me with its inherent danger.
As I fathom my next move, the wolf vanishes as if he was never there.
My gut tells me it's time to leave - there is a debate - a standstill and then my mind finally agrees.
I return home and pour myself a scotch. I am exhausted and afraid of this never ending cycle. I am unsure of how much more I can handle.
I head up to the loft where my dogs and partner await - the 4 of us warm and safe in bed and still I feel so alone.
The wolf comes to me in my dreams and I understand what he was trying to say.
"Rivers are mighty. They own whatever and whomever enters them. They control the balance between life and death. You have to respect a river."
"Be the River."
And so I am.
"Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."
Norman Maclean - A River Runs Through It