"III. A BOOK IS A RIVER.
Again and again—in roots, in books, in rivers—this pattern repeats in nature: small things gather into larger things, which gather into larger things, which merge into one big thing. It’s a movement from the particular to the universal, as if the cosmos wanted everything ultimately to come together. In a book, stories, characters, all the consequences of betrayal and the possibilities of love converge—on a street corner, maybe, or an island—and something new is revealed. This is the art of the book. What had been many things becomes one thing, the layered geology of the human imagination, cut to bedrock truth.
Just so, a river gathers small evidence from high in mountain streams and carries it along, always along. A salmon egg, a hemlock branch, and the smell of dying fish join with silt from the uplands and roots of sage, and here is a new story unrolling. Along goes the river, gathering stories until they all converge in the sea. And what story does the sea tell? The history of all those uplands, the stories of lives won and lost, and the blue mystery of the unity of all lives, the unity of all stories, which is the saga of onrushing life. . . " BASIA IRLAND
Read the full article on ORION MAGAZINE's website here