“Happily he looked into the flowing river. Never had a river attracted him as much as this one. Never had he found the voice and appearance of flowing water so beautiful. It seemed to him as if the river had something special to tell him, something which he did not know, something which still awaited him.” - Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

I just re-read Siddhartha for the second time. A small excerpt from a talk about the potency of re-reading 100 books - versus trying to read long lists of various books - prompted a revisiting of this text. I considered the idea of recalling quotes from “the classics” and personally-revelatory passages in books to be a favorable one. So I picked up a short book and relearned why i loved the story and the lessons. I learned why it is possible I look so fondly on a terribly simple thing like a river. I am propelled to draw my line of thought on this lesson in order to unpack it a little bit.

For those not familiar with Siddhartha, I urge you to become acquainted. It is a true gem within a sea of literature that begs reading. In short, the novel follows a young Indian boy, the eponymous Siddhartha, as he experiences a full life of contemplation, poverty, riches, happiness, sadness and love.

I look towards the bygone year, the mounting year ahead, and I like thinking of the river. Work, as it stands for me, is a never-ending project of documents. Photographic and video documents having recorded things done and company kept make up most of this catalogue. Writings and notes scribbled haphazardly make up a subsequent portion. And finally, the memories easily recalled - and those countless shared memories that  are only remembered with the help of a friend - constitute the final bit of documentation.

Just like the river, all of these things tell me more about “the Self, the character and nature of which I wished to learn,” (Hesse). I can see plainly what exists along this long line of documents, yet struggle daily with the contents beneath the surface. Thus, I realize I am thinking too deeply and searching too far for the plain fact that these annals are merely bullets in my story that I must learn to tell properly, to the best of my ability.

Reluctantly, I have compiled a short list of filmic content I have amassed over the past 3+ years into a brief highlight reel. That video is below, and for your viewing pleasure. It is my “river” of things done, places traveled, people met. It touches on many countries, states, and events. As I dig through hard drive upon hard drive, I find clips from days I have forgotten entirely. This is where I think the beauty of being an historian and storyteller are illuminated. The incidentals held in the fabric of our own time often get pushed out of our mind to save room for the new knowledge. These experiences that occur during every passing moment of the present are much like a river.

Rushing water, ebbing tides, and myriad forces of nature create a scenario in which there is water before a moment, during a moment, and after a moment. No moment remains stagnant. The river must “forget” it had water - must let it pass - in order that it may experience its new water.

I have trouble with the past lingering a little too long. Oftentimes, I allow personal or business projects to remain on my plate longer than needed, and because of this, become a hostage to these old projects without the amity for new projects that I should maintain. But I admit it, and it (hopefully) ends here with a firm resolution to finish projects timely, in order to pursue new ones.

With the new year, I am resolved to remove the filler and fluff from everyday, beginning with eliminating the in-between words “like” and “um” as they are too oft used. I believe most people to be guilty of this vernacular plague, but it does not come without discipline to speak with intention, thoughtfulness, and properly. This will only work with the help of friends and family, so please, if you are reading this and we see each other, I urge you to help me in this resolution.

Additionally, I will attempt to ban the use of my telephone while in the company of others. I see adults and millennials alike pull the phone from their pocket, shift focus - or “multitask” to which one might allude - and start noodling away with texts, instagrams, facebooks, tumbles, twits, vines, snaps, work emails, and the like.

I find this undermining to interpersonal relationships, further weakening the capacity for total and real communication. I of course wish that everybody in the world would cease this type of behavior, but would never try to hold anyone besides myself accountable for anything as deep-seated as the protection of ego. If we are spending time with one another and you see me falter, I urge you to hold me accountable to this resolution.

You are apart of this video reel - this celluloid river - if you helped facilitate a moment to happen, or if we shared one of these moments. Thank you for your continued support and reading, and I hope this year to continue to share new moments with those who will have me.

Song: "Rogue River" by The Elephant Revival.