Stillness and depth: River Thames (emotive geographies 12)

The old adage asserts that still waters run deep.

The river Thames communicates this point poignantly. It always reminds this blogger to “keep calm and….” study, persist, explore, live fully, experience life, and so forth.

If the Seine inspires movement, the Thames brings a sense of emotional balance. Calm. Poise. Stillness. An unruffled state of being and of navigating the world.

The words of John Denham ring true with each encounter with the Thames:

Oh, could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme!
Though deep, yet clear; though gentle, yet not dull;
Strong without rage, without o’erflowing full.

The Thames reminds me to be still – not as a sign of docility, but as a mark of restrained strength.

I am grateful for the river and the emotional dispositions that I associate with it…while it probably runs through London for more practical historical reasons, perhaps for security and commerce, it has taken on several emotive associations through the centuries for different people who have encounter it.

In a harried century, where it is all too easy to be overwhelmed and feel out of sync, thankfully, the Thames could serve as a reminder to dig deeper, and to be still and confident.

The river and its powerful stillness is a 243rd reason to be grateful for the privilege of living and studying in London and Paris!