You cannot step in to the same river twice

“You cannot cross the same river twice”, because the river is flowing and changing, and so are you. In fact you cannot step in to the same river twice, because YOU change.

I remembered this quote, attributed to the Greek philosopher Hercalitus, when one of my closest friends, who has known me for a substantial part of my adult life, and I were reflecting on many of the changes that we have been though in our lives. We reflected that as we go through different cycle of changes, it poses interesting challenges to friendships and relationships. I said that as I begin to take my next initiatives in my work and learning, that I feel as if I am in search of myself all over again.

She laughed and remarked that I am constantly changing and shared with me what her husband had said when she had shared this sentiment. “We are never full stops, we are always in fluidity”.

I have since then been reflecting on this, and thinking that no wonder human relationships are so frustratingly complex and deliciously intriguing all at the same time.

We think we are full stops. Unchanging. But at best we are commas in a sentence, a pause if at all, before the sentence takes shape and continue giving meaning.  Most times, when there is some underlying congruency in purpose, there is flow from sentence to sentence and a meaningful story is weaved. And this story is peppered and coloured by the other actors that make the story. Its not one story. Its many stories in continuous story making.

And I am tentatively inspired to imagine I understand this phenomena in the following manner.

Fluid Full Stops.

You will see me, when I see myself
in the house of mirrors
and reflect my soul image

You will hear me, when I hear myself
through the echoes and noise
and speak my truth

You will know me, when I know myself
in the ages gone by and times to come
and I understand where I am now

You will find me, when I find myself
in the myriad of selves fleeting
and name my transformed self

But I cannot promise I will hold myself
here to this full stop
as much as I promise that I wont hold you
to one image in my mind

And somewhere you and I
will meet and greet
and embrace in recognition
the same and the difference
and find a fluid home in each other


Wishing you many joyful journeys of self discovery,



Image Credit : Sujin Jetkasettakorn