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This song brings me a melange of imagery, re-enforcing how much I enjoy residing in the South.

Though "Find the River" refers to spices and sundries indigenous to the other side of the world, it’s funny how the tune always reminds me of strolling through Georgia farmland, alone, taking in the subtle eloquence of sweltering southern fields.

The charm of the tune sends me back to a particular walk on grounds near Andalucia, coming upon a burnt orange shed rooted within yellow grasses. These grasses stretched for miles ahead, dissolving into a distant honey-hue, meeting a warm and siloed skyline. I tapped three times on a splintering shed door and a mild sound seemed to intimate how this shed felt: sunbeaten, parched, relentless as an Oconee fisherman carping at dusk. I noted how the battered wood structure still brought a box-shaped alteration on a flowing rural field. A rhythm of box shapes are a constant on farms-- sharp angles painting humid landscapes into employable art forms.

“The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.”
Albert Camus

A senior co-worker told me she used to see Flannery ambling with her cane across streets long ago in Milledgeville. This co-worker never spoke to her-- that writer who'd been broken in her physical state but who carried an unharmed power within her. Flannery seemed to have had an innate ability to create a picture with words which depicted absurdity so uncannily. Her saturnine grotesques brought to life extreme tales of our existence, grasping a reader at the neck to show them stinging bits from our silent humanity. Her penned crafts could be thought of as proofs of the existentialist’s statement: I imagine Flannery’s creations as her gift to mirror life’s birth of absurdity with the world’s tight lips to blame.

Bizarre how the R.E.M. song shoves all of this to my mind’s forefront every time I let the cd spin. Bergamot and vetiver run through my head and fall away… This puts me next to a shed along the piedmont. Absurd I know.

I recall my slow walk from the shed 10 meters to a rusted till, then to a silver boxcar stranded-- a train's version of jetsam cast out to the field from the nearby railroad. All of these firm angles sit tough, awaiting a bayberry moon.

Breathing in I remember the area’s beauty noiseless as true southern gothic. Sighing, the music brings back to my ears the sound of a river floating nearby.

All of our musical creations serve as this silent world's interpreter. We sing melodies for the trees, the dust, the stars. Chords weep and laugh... this moving song, so simple, serves as a reminder of this greater reality.

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