13 August 2016

A lot of water under the bridge

Sometimes you look over the edge and wonder where all that water's gone, and whether Heraclitus got it wrong and in fact you're always stepping—or falling—into that same river, not just twice but endlessly, and you wonder whether it was actually Nietzsche who was right when he posed that question about how you'd react to a demon who condemned or blessed you with the eternal recurrence of all the joys and despairs of your life, but eventually you know you have to get on with what's left of it, so you walk away, leaving the troll beneath the bridge grumpy that he didn't get to eat you, but even as you walk off you wonder whether you might not be confirming Sartre's and de Beauvoir's claim about bad faith, and that doesn't help you feel any better or less confused.

But Heraclitus and Nietzsche and Sartre and de Beauvoir are all dead, and you're still walking and wondering. Surely that has to mean something—no?

All content © 2016 Pete McGregor


Lisa Emerson said...

I'm still gasping for breath after that long sentence. Yup, you're still walking and the water is still cascading down - and life is good.

Wonderful picture. So full of energy.

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

How curious. In the midst of this torrent of consciousness - no mere stream, here, Pete- I see an echo of my own thought pattern of late. For years I've admired a certain character in a fiction series largely because, in the midst of "passionate intensity", she just picked herself up and kept going. Sorry. That just struck me as quite a coincidence. Awesome photo, moving and powerful.

Relatively Retiring said...

or......you can play Pooh Sticks.

pohanginapete said...

Lisa, ... but, but, ... I did put commas in! ;-) (And yes, life is good.)

Barbara, I'm sure that's no coincidence. Synchronicity, perhaps. As Enrico, the Italian guy who entertained and enlightened me at Manali in 2014 claimed, there are no coincidences because 'they're against the laws of physics'.

RR — ah, yes. Pooh Sticks is always possible and often the best solution. Here, though, in such a narrow, swift flow, beset with snags, a successful race might have been difficult.

Avus said...

I'm with RR - you could just forget the philosophers and contemplate the always changing beauty of that delightful stream. Which, I suppose, does return us to Heraclitus!

robin andrea said...

And all of this on our one small planet that's whirling away in the universe, with our small steps upon it, our eyes turned outward, our words and bridges, dreams and streams, consciousness. This was such a fun read! Thank you for writing it down and for having read all the philosophers so I won't have to and yet still be enriched by their ideas.

Zhoen said...

Lot of water under the bridge, lot of other stuff too. Don't get up gentlemen, I'm only passing through. People are crazy and times are strange.

-B. Dylan


gz said...


pohanginapete said...

Avus, like most moving water, this was compelling, almost hypnotic. I could have stayed there a long time, just watching it.

Robin, I'd hardly claim I've read those philosophers' works, although I've read enough about them to have a smattering of knowledge of some of their ideas. Whether that little knowledge is really a dangerous thing is uncertain, but how much knowledge is only a little, and, ... oh, never mind. You get the idea ;-)

Zhoen, I love that song.

gz, thank you :-)