I knew it was starting to work when I went down to the river and the ripples started singing to me. Blooming with the beat of weightless rain. “Drink from the nectar of life,” they said, “and taste the music within you.” “It is calling you,” they said, as I took those first sips. I drank, cautiously and, I admit, sceptically. I had tried everything else and believed I was beyond help.

“Medicine comes in no sweeter form than the thanks we give,” they said. They read from the Gospel according to Gratitude and anointed my forehead with kisses, mournful and sweet like liquor. “Know your truth,” spoke the lady hidden behind deep clouds of sage and I was released into the world. With new wings on my back, I expected to meet the Answer right there on the street. I expected it to tip its hat and look at me knowingly with burning flints in its eyes. “Looking for me,” it would say.

But that was only in my fantasies.

Reality took a little longer to catch up with my wild dreams, flapping after me as a bumbling goose at the edge of the water, pretending to be late. “So sorry,” she honked, “I forgot the time scale we were working on now.” It didn’t matter to me. Nothing, not one thing, mattered. We waddled knee-deep, the goose and I, and supped our faces in the shivering honey. Any thoughts I still had slipped from my lips as I nourished myself in its humble joy. Fizzling in our tongues, the goose and I gazed at each other and stretched our feathers to our nameless bounty. Clumsy, stupid words evaporated in gliding birdsong, sliding down my ears, down my throat and into my ravenous belly. My hunger was quenched, my thirst satiated. My feeble eyes turned inwards and I saw all that I would ever need to see tickling at my finger tips, tripping at my heart, humming at my core.

“Jackpot,” I thought and giggled. The goose giggled back and with one last deep glance into my eyes, it burst into a radiant waterfall. A firework smokeless and soundless. Slowly, she trickled away from me. I was left by the river, in solitude yet not alone. Alone I would never be again as the river sang, the river sang, the river sang…