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All that lives is born of water

grows by water

changes with water

and is imperishable with water.

The traces of our love

and our tears as well.


I gaze out at the river

as if spell-bound by music,

As I forget myself

and cease to be myself, this moment, now,

this oh so marvellous state!

Now I, one drop of water

within the rhythm

of that widely sprawling flow,

without desire

without temptation

without discernment

becoming one with the transparent Real

become a calm child in the cradle.


I have spent today,

that source of mystery, today,

wallowing in the dirt.

Along the sewers of my soul,

so full of stench and running muck,

the spirits of all purity

have foamed and died.

Tomb of Time turned to a muddy slough!

Just a trickle of tears flows from the drain

and drips into the coal-black stream.

Sun and moon, and time too, have lost their shine,

and all those things that once bloomed flowers of grace

reciprocate now with a wilting look.

Ah! When will that day come

when my life and all its meaning

will flow into the distant sea

and recover eternal freshness?


Watching how the river waters flow

around red mountain slopes,

I bring to mind that moment when

a single drop of dew, long seeping

through the crust of earth, sprang out,

a tiny spring high up there on a desolate peak.

Watching how the river waters wind

across the verdant fields,

I picture when at last they reach

their destined ocean's waiting vastness

and flowing into the billowing waves

leap beyond the bounds of time.

Watching how the river waters flow

with perfect ease before me,

I imagine when at last

this river, now all transmigration

with its repeated evaporations,

and I, the carcass of Karma-destiny then thrown off,

will meet again upon this spot as living beings.


The river flows on,

without a filthy heart,

all pure of body,

it flows like time in Eternity.

The river flows on,

without a paltry body,

all pure of heart,

it flows like Eternity in time.

The river flows on,

neither heart nor body,

it flows, an essence of nothingness.

Translation: Brother Anthony of Taizé