Even if I waded out to the middle, I could not belong to this river. Even if I nestled down against the muddy bottom sands, it would not own me. I am the wrong colour. I come from the wrong direction. My people belong to the sky and the thicket-clothed, steep sides of viridescent, green mountains, with trickling streams and light-footed deer.
Even if I sang, I could not make the music of this place. I do not have enough sadness for enough lifetimes to find the voice of this time-smoothed landscape. My people moved west and gasped for air until they felt the salty wind of the sea press itself against the Grey basalt slopes of the Cascades, and breathed at last. They were not sad, they were stubborn.
Even if I slow down to the pace of the sun moving across the winter pressed sky, I will not be slow enough, spacious enough, wide open enough to belong to this place. I am filled with the kind of busyness that comes from living in a place where rain ruins everything that does not dart, sparrow-like, between the rivulets of water.
I do not belong. I skim along the surface and make bad translations of a language who nuances I cannot hear. I meet people and cannot see them. I eat food and cannot taste it. I know this. I do not belong.