The Moment Before the Moment After

Mine was the least of the things the river took.

The hat was mine and then it wasn’t.  Just a moment of slightly slackened grip and it was gone.

At first, it was in the shallows and seemed deceptively reachable. Reaching only sent it farther and farther out, until it was well into the current, set on a course beyond my control.

I learned later that I was lucky in my foolishness.

Men had died at that intersection of rivers, deceived by the gentle appearance of those shallows.

There was still that moment with the hat right at the tips of my fingers that it felt as if I could have changed its course.

When I think of stories, I think of pivots.

Our brains are lazy. We love patterns and paths and will continue happily until change is thrust upon us or we thrust change upon ourselves.

But when I think of change, I do not think of the aftermath or even the moment where the waves catch us and thrust us into the current.

I think of that moment before, when we can still deceive ourselves, when our old world is still tantalizing the tips of our fingers.

I watched the hat ride the waves far beyond my sight.

All I remembered was the tip of the brim moving just beyond my reach.


The deceptive waters of change

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