Sophia's Peace Work

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Antsy to get on the river ... 1 October

We learned upon arriving in Kut that we can't get on the river until we get the Governor's permission, so our plan to float the river today is delayed until tomorrow.  Stymied again!

I recall having a discussion about this issue with someone in Turkey .... my egalitarian (ala Huck Fin) view that we don't need permission to float a river because "the River" belongs to us all vs. the river is controlled by the State (whichever state the river is running through), permissions are a must and by requesting permissions you are creating a positive relationship and a dialogue with that State over the management and protection of the River.

But there is always that saying, better to ask for forgiveness than for permission!

Anyway, we'll use the day to get our boats and equipment sorted and ready, perhaps do a tour of the Kut Barrage (built in the 1930s), and generally drink a lot of tea.

Until then, here are a few quotes about rivers:

"You can't argue with a river, it is going to flow.  You can dam it up, put it to useful purposes, deflect it, but you can't argue with it." - Dean Gooderham Acheson

"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea" - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river is a strong brown god, sullen, untamed and intractable" - T.S. Eliot

"But the river remained unchanged, sad, refusing rehabilitation" - James Kirkup

"The river is within us, the sea is all about us" - T.S. Eliot

"Give to me the life I love, Let the lave go by me, Give the jolly heaven above And the byway nigh me.  Bed inthe bush with the stars to see, Bread I dip in the river There's the life for a man like me, There's the life for ever." - Robert Louis Stevenson


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