Lines of Resistance

Water makes small choices. A trickle of liquid always moves downward, below, however imperceptible the angle of decline. When water encounters an obstacle, it seeps under and around, or crowded by a jostling flood, flows over. A single pebble might turn a deluge. There is no effort.

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Riffle Lines in the Willamette River

Study the surface of the river to learn what lies underneath it. This is the way of the spring river: to scout from the banks as the flow subsides to find what changes the winter floods brought to the channel. The water, turned by a pebble, can move boulders in the winter as it courses down from the mountains.

Bright lines shining across the current are stones covered only by shallow water marking a riffle. The water turns and dances, laughing over the lines of resistance.

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Riffle in the river

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Author: Kim K. McCrea

KKim K. McCrea worked as a System Analyst for 25 years building out the internet of things before returning to letters in 2017. Kim won the Treefort Wild West Writing Prize, was runner up in Cutbank short prose contest, and named a finalist in Proximity Magazine's Essay Prize and the Barry Lopez Creative Nonfiction Contest. Her work appears in Cutbank, Tishman Review, Thoughtfuldog, and Watershed Review. Kim lives in Eugene, Oregon, where she wrangles her Labrador in the rain.

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