A River Runs Through It: The ending

imagesThe ending, and especially the last two paragraphs, of Norman Maclean’s masterful A River Runs Through It echo the Bible and the true American idiom:

“Now nearly all those I loved and did not understand when I was young are dead, but I still reach out to them.

“Of course, now I am too old to be much of a fisherman, and now of course I usually fish the big waters alone, although some friends think I shouldn’t. Like many fly fisherman in western Montana, where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.

I am haunted by waters.”

A River Runs Through It

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