Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2003, 11:30 AM

Old man river

I know there were more of them floating around in here but now all that I see is a placid pond. What happened to the flotsam of ideas on the pool of my subconscious? To where have they all scurried off?

The river was a deep muddy green this morning. Sprites and the undead and other mythical creatures and enchantments can not follow my progress to and from work as I cross over the river each way. I always take note of the state of the river, measuring the volume of water by the number of blocks exposed on the base of the pilings. I watch the skin of ice form in the colder months. I follow the progress of the little islands of ice as they meander downstream after a thaw. I enjoy the return of the ducks in spring when the river is swollen with recent rain and the color of strong tea. And in the fall the leaves congeal into little globs of color that rotate slowly on their ride south beneath my bridge. There are barges full of coal or scrap metal. There are boats pulling water skiers. There are fishermen anchored near the bank. And I am reminded that I am composed mostly of water and I have a yearning to rejoin the flowing ribbon of the river. The attraction is strong and calls me to edge of streams and rivers and lakes and the sea in every waking moment. But recently there has been a stronger attraction enticing my waking and dreaming thoughts.

I wonder if the river today is as green as your eyes.