The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.
Wallace Stevens, 13 ways of looking at a blackbird
I dwell in a land where the rivers are always moving, except when they dry out, when they would be called dry creek beds, not rivers. To imagine a place where a river is not moving is to imagine a place without life.
I have travelled to lands where rivers do not move because they freeze, and so, I read, Stevens’ mind of winter has stopped life, time, flight for this moment before the thaw.
But in my world the river never stops moving. Some call it change. Some call it events. Some call it power. Some call it culture. If the river stopped moving, the sun would parch us to death. The river is always moving. The sun always rises in the morning.
And so too the bureaucrat is always in flight. Never still. Always scanning the world. Always swooping by the water. Bound to the flowing river until exhausted the blackbird falls from the sky, and a new blackbird begins to singest of summer in full-throated ease.