Water Wisdom

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Water Wisdom is a story of Hall’s solo journey through the waterways of the unspoiled Canadian north woods. The journey refreshes him; body, mind and spirit. But he comes home with something more, something intangible, a rare gift.

Through a seamless combination of narrative, prose and poetry the reader is transported to a world few see, although right in front of each of us.

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Water Wisdom
by Robert H. Wellington
Balboa Press

reviewed by Peter M. Fitzpatrick

“Somehow the world has chosen to embrace the theories of randomness, chance, and survival of the fittest, to the exclusion of the spirit and consciousness.”

Hall is a twenty-two year old graduate of college who feels somewhat troubled by an inner unease as he contemplates his future. Intuitively sensing that there must be something beyond career and family, he is startled when a vision of “the heavens open up and the multitude of heavenly host descend over the altar” during a Christmas Eve midnight service. Hall decides to embark on a canoe trip in Canada’s Quetico National Park to help him digest this experience. While paddling and camping, Hall writes poetry and begins to experience intense spiritual realizations. These increase until he finally encounters a mysterious entity named Joshua who engages him in a long discussion of the “First Cause” argument for the existence of God with elements of modern physics given a theological interpretation emphasizing the central role of love.

This small book of seventeen short chapters reads more like a meditation on the author’s own preference for the Canadian wilderness as a source of spiritual awakening than a traditional dramatic novel with characters in conflict reaching a final resolution. Hall’s conflict is within himself and perhaps life in the city—the “chaos” of city life being repeatedly contrasted with the peace of the Canadian countryside. His mystical experience of oneness with the animals, trees, and even rocks culminates in a dreamlike “dance” with petroglyphs on a rock wall formed from glacial activity occurring thousands of years ago. This kind of illustration is his one of his strengths as a writer. The transcendent and mysterious is given concrete and palpable representation, something that writers on the mystical experience have often found frustrating to express in language. By positing an ultimate synthesis of Creationism and Darwinism, Physics and Faith, City and Nature, the writer helps imply an ultimate sense of unity in a language whose very essence presupposes duality.

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