“The sound of water says what I think.” Chuang-Tzu
Nobody believes in Charon anymore, not that it matters. No one has ever heard him grumble about his own invisibility. He has even gotten used to never sleeping. Too many deaths. Anyway, on every voyage his boat overflows with passengers. Long ago he became indifferent to the chorus of sullen mutterings from an endless queue of souls, all of them not wanting him to ferry them across the river to the other shore.
But there are other voices, and those voices sing.
The canoe’s spine cracked apart years ago and her hull splintered into pieces. Her ribs reach out like fingers, but too exhausted to feel the slightest touch, even a touch of sunlight. Birch and willows are only echoes in what remains of her life, and the rivers that cradled her have flowed away. What use is a river to a broken boat?
But listen to its music: From deepest waters, choirs of voices rise up and burst out of the throats of flowers: arias of dragonflies, the flaming sun, sand and pebbles on some faraway shore, flights of geese, acorns, the tears in things, grandmothers, snowstorms, the moons of Jupiter, wolverines, fragrances from last Spring’s lilacs, and brittle leaves falling in forests every morning for a million years. All the voices of water laugh as they sing to us, in whispers: “Death is a Lie.”