I read the book before I watched the movie, and both were so formative in my recent thinking. A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean, translated into a movie by Robert Redford, put image to many of the thoughts that have lingered within me through my years.
The image of the flowing river is one that so feels like the nature of my inner soul, something eternal, something ever-changing, something moving with a life of its own. For me, that river is the Creative Spirit of God, a source of inspiration and life that comes from beyond my own being, flows through my days and ways, and then into a world beyond myself. This is the essence of the creative moment in both writing and in living -- to allow the something more to flow through one's being into the realm of sapce and time, free from the bounds of one's own mortality.
There is one scene that is so meaningful to me. The story involves a Pastor and his two sons: the older son, a quiet scholarly type filled with caution and steadiness, the younger son, a lively extroverted type filled with risk and adventure. Father and two sons, they are fly fishermen, the younger son the most skilled fisherman of all. One day when the sons are full grown, the younger son is murdered, probably because of gambling debts he had acquired.
In the midst of their grief, the older son confesses, "I probably knew little of my younger brother except that he was a fine fisherrman." To which the father replies, "Oh, he was much more than that ... he was beautiful."
Such is grace of God and I pray the grace of my life ... that ability to see the beautiful in all souls, a quality that goes beyond merely what we do.