Rogue River

Date Posted:
Oct 12, 2022, 04:10 PM
Rogue River

The 62 was a real treat — Crater Lake had just closed for the season so there was hardly any traffic on this already remote highway. I rode through lodgepole pine forests that flourish out of pumice ash deposits from a volcano that erupted here 8,000 years ago. At the Rogue River, I planted and played a tune I wrote that morning. The music reflects my state of mind: joyous. Grateful to be on this migratory journey, to be alive, and to be surrounded by rivers, lakes, and forests in crisp air.

In the story “The Joy of Fishes,” Taoist master Chuang Tzu writes about how humans might attune to the perspectives of non-humans — in this case, a fish. His friend asks him “Since you are not a fish, how do you know what makes fishes happy?”. Chuang Tzu comically responds “since you are not I, how can you possibly know that I do not know what makes fishes happy?” On a more poetic note, he concludes with: “I know the joy of fishes in the river through my own joy, as I go walking along the same river” (Tzu 4th century BC). In this story, Chuang Tzu sees the subjectivity of the fish through a shared resonance: “joy.” These kinds of attunements to the more-than-human world involve not just noticing but also imagining. I have been thinking about this story as my own joyous state opens me up to such kinds of imagining. Happy day!