Posted by: highmountainmuse | February 3, 2009

River of Tears

It’s been a long and trying couple of days. (No, it has been years…) In-law issues.  I imagine many of you might be able to relate. This doesn’t happen in a perfect world, does it? Family is supposed to be our backbones, our foundations, the ones we can turn to in times of need, and visa versa. At least, that is what I used to believe.  And fortunately, it is still true with so many of our supportive and caring extended family members.  But there are adverse exceptions, and such tends to affect us down to our very core.   


Perhaps this is part of learning, growing, and moving on emotionally. It is time not to whine, but to be strong. At some point, we learn to leave the baggage behind, and to rise up from the ashes. So rather than focus on the pain and sadness that can come from such matters, lets look at all the good. And there is so much good… starting with family members who stand together, with a strong belief of right and goodness, and love.  That’s a big one.  It gets overlooked, but it is the biggie.  In times of conflict, our relationships are tested, and we are finding, become stronger than ever.


So, with this in mind, and on its way behind us, we’re looking forward with a somewhat melancholy but still optimistic view.  I would like to share with you a poem I wrote almost two years ago now.  And then we shall return to the healing beauty that we are so lucky to live surrounded by, return to the goodness of our loving family (and those loving in-laws), and start building our new home together.  Remember the Little Cabin by the Big River…



River of Tears 



On this land I am drowning

In the lies of my husband’s family

Of the women here before me

The heavy burden they hide behind

Are bound together  

Like drops of water in a stagnant pool


Thick and heavy is the air like mud

Tainted is this fragile earth with their lies

Like salt upon a fertile field

Hope and prosperity shrivel and dry


I can not breathe, but flail and grasp for air

As they lash out at me from under their cloaks of deception

In fear perhaps that I will rise like the Phoenix

and sing out the truth

If only I could be so strong


I want to be free, to flow

To resonate with the river

To cry out like the red hawk that glides above

Scream the truth!

To bound over the surrounding snow packed slopes

Flee this place, these people

Disappear in a wink like the brown trout below a ripple

Or a mule deer behind one single Aspen


Submerge me in these waters

Cleanse me as my forefather’s religion could do

Protect me like my mothers womb once did


There I would float upon the water’s breast

Arms outstretched, muscles relaxed

The sound of my heartbeat merging with the pulse of the river


There I can no longer hear their yelling

Feel their biting insults

See their hateful stares


There I would float protected, unharmed

Silent, cool, clean, and safe

Allow the water to wash me away


There I would gaze up at the mountains that feed me, feed this river

And the clouds bit by bit drifting east

The clouds that seed these mountain streams

The clouds that ultimately created this river

The clouds that cover me soft and white and soothing




And so I sit here

On the dry ground and

Pour forth the tears

That I hope will

Amass to a river

to wash me away.









  1. Being related (by birth or marriage) doesn’t mean we must like… You are free through living and your beautiful writing to transcend those matches which do not work. There is a reason for the witch-like qualities of stepmothers and in-laws in fairy tales.

  2. Oh Gin, my heart breaks for you. You and Bob and Forrest love that mountain more than anyone else on earth possibly could and I can’t imagine someone’s greed (as I’m sure that must be what it is) taking part of it from you. I know you are strong and will make it through this and I love the fact that you do have that little cabin by the big river to give you hope and a new start if that’s what it comes to.

    On a much, much lighter note, I’m baking your bread again today. If you keep posting such fantastic recipes, us flatlanders are going to have to enhance our exercise routines!

  3. Imagine you’ll be burning off the calories running with the dog sleds!

  4. You know, I’ve been pretty blessed by birth. We’ve heard from so many who aren’t quite so lucky. The difficult lesson of learning when to let go. It takes a lifetime.

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