Manya looks down river
When I stand on the hill and look down the river, I feel like I can breath again. The houses, I hardly notice them, I don’t notice them, I don’t know how to explain it you. I don’t notice them because I know what is inside them. I feel it, the rough wood chairs and the silver samovar cooling by the stove, and the grainy thickness of the windows, as if the winter cold was still frozen into the air bubbles, the warm dim light, the stuffiness that covers up what is rude and mean and brutish about life in its most uncompromising moments. That’s not what I see. I don’t feel the thick breadth of the gate, I don’t feel the cottage behind me, I don’t see the church in the valley. I don’t even see the river when I look up it. The water upstream hasn’t come here yet. It hasn’t passed this crest by. It’s the past. But the water that goes down the river, it’s moving on, it’s got somewhere else to go, it will choose its paths, to rush, or swirl, or rest still in an eddy, or seep over a river wall and churn up mud and swill in some pig yard. I feel that water. I see the river vanish. I’m filled with the fresh air. I’m ready to go.