From the book RIVER NOTES: THE DANCE OF HERONS. In these few stories about a rural river community, the threads that tie human life to the subtleties of a landscape-- the prolonged arrival of dawn, the otherness of wild animals, the austere movement of a river-- become clear. Author Barry Lopez writes often about the relationship between the physical landscape and human culture, touching upon issues of intimacy, ethics and identity. He is the author of a number of highly-acclaimed books, including 'Arctic Dreams' for which he received the National Book Award. His work appears regularly in Harper's, The Paris Review, and Outside Magazine. Cellist David Darling is a classically trained cellist, though 'maverick cellist' is the phrase often used to capture the richness, diversity, breadth and sense of humor of his playing. In addition to his five solo albums, he has appeared with Bobby McFerrin, Spyro Gyra, the Paul Winter Consort, and Arlo Guthrie. Recently, he has collaborated on the musical scores for works by European film makers Jean-Luc Godard and Wim Wenders. Barry Lopez, reflections on a river from 'The Shallows' 'The overall impression here as one surveys the river spread out over the gravel bars, is of a suspension of light, as though light were reverberating on a membrane. And a loss of depth. The slope of the riverbed here is nearly level, so the movement of water slows; shallowness heightens the impression of transparency and a feeling for the texture of the highly polished stones just underwater. If you bring your eye to within a few inches of the surface, each stone appears to be submerged in glycerin yet still sharply etched, as if held closely under a strong magnifying glass in summer light. An illusion-- that insight into thestone is possible, that all distraction can be peeled away or masked off, as in preparation for surgery, while sunlight pentrates and highlights-- is encouraged.