What we think we know is not something. Or it is more idea than thing but thing as well. Maybe. The river thinks as we think. The river knows what it comprehends. It contains what is in it, and so it knows whatever it contains.
So one might say the brook trout and their habits are what it knows. What the Fox River knows. The many downed trees, straining its waters. Budding in spring even after they have fallen. Straining, which is to say purifying. Slowing. Injecting air. Straining, which is to say shadowing the depths with their trunks and many evergreen or deciduous branches stretching like the hands and arms and legs and feet and toes of so many prone, unlikely personifications.
The quick and beautiful brook trout. Evening horizon in its belly. The planted augmentation fish. Raised artificially. Raised in concrete containments, fed artificial air and water through jets in the side walls. Raised on grain delivered in pellets. Raised like so many ideas fed with artificial food.
And now transplanted here. Trucked here from the nursery. Delivered juveniles. Delivered young into this semi-wild world. This unstatic universe. This coursing. This eddying, pooling, streaming, dreaming, pouring, upwelling, many-stranded space-time rivery consciousness. Unconsciousness. Supra-consciousness of water, earth, and sky. Of images floating as clouds and pictures of upright trees passing. Passing on along.
This is the water as it falls down the earth. Through the earth. Over the earth. Strains down the sandy, loamy, ferny, deer-dotted, beaver-befuddled, ospreyed earth. As it courses, carrying the very earth in it. As it cuts and grinds and drains and tumbles the sand-grains of the granitic earth. The buoyant granite of the continents that float on the ocean streams. Continents that float all about the spheroid place like so many sticks on a river in the sun.
And yes. The sun is in it in the daytime. Dropping down to discover. Well everything. The trout and the nymphs. The twigs and the rising flies in spring. And the dying flies in spring. And the crayfish. And the eggs. And the quick detritus. And the blue.
And at night the dark and the stars and moon. The white brightly silver light of night. And the splashing of the coyote or the wolverine. Or skunk. Or weasel. Many come down into these waters and make their way. And move about. And move on.
And in it also are the native fish. The naturally reproducing fish. The fish that arise from adults here. Very much here. In these quick tannin waters. Fish that are the outworking of the place itself. The waters themselves. The heterogeneous multi-toned thrumming of these waters we happen to call the Fox.
What does it mean, though, one wants to ask. What does all this come to? In the end? Well that’s easy enough to say. The Fox River comes to the Manistique and then to Lake Michigan. It slows into the cold dark blue of that. The depths so dark they are introspective out a ways, opaque to the naked eye on the surface, and remain so for many miles.