Nature Photography

The Great Run That Needs No Other Name

Welcome to the great run of the West. This band of energy that is materialized here as water descends in a lost mid-Pacific rift zone of such power that 10,000 kilometres of old seabed has crumpled up against it and plunged 1000 kilometres straight down rather than cross it.
This energy has no tributaries. It is a river, but only if we understand that word as a talisman for an energy that is not water. It is the energy that calls water here, or drives it here, or both.


But make no mistake. The land that runs along the shore of the water here is not running along the shore of this energy. It is it as much as the water that laid it there and the glaciers that fed it, and the band of energy running along the crest of the Rockies, where this energy band collided with North America long ago, as this so-called reach of water.

So are the hills. The late winter water, and the thunderstorms, that pour down those eastern slopes of this energy band are as much its run as the water that flows past them. If you’re looking for the river, that’s it. If you’re not looking for that, what are you doing here?


If you are looking for this energy band, a map will describe it as “The Columbia River,” and Wikipedia will describe “River” like this:

A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. Source

That’s not the definition of this energy. it’s the explication of a word, that follows a conception in which the energy and the water are one.

It’s time to set that aside. The energy has laid the water here. It comes from a source, but extends it and gives it duration. Calling it a “river” or “The Columbia” is a colonial act of disruption. Whatever our conscious intentions are when we do so, subconsciously we are killing ourselves. This is the original energy of the world: right here. It is not distant.  It is time to work forward, not against.  It is time to let those old conceptions go. Just behind Beacon Rock in the centre of the image below, this energy band cuts right across the crest of the Cascade Range. The water literally moves into the sky right at the point where the sky moves below the water.

That’s because the flow is not a river of water. Water is a cloud. Coming to the river is to come to history.

The Abandoned Orchards of Hanford Town

Coming to the energy is to come to your senses.

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