The road ends, but the journey continues...

Creative Confluence


I love how that word rolls about in the mouth; how it feels like its verbal definition.


Defined as a coming or flowing together, meeting or gathering at one point.

Most often used in reference to the joining of different rivers forming a larger waterway, it offers up a powerful image describing the perpetual movement of life.  Regardless of point of origin, the joining up of these liquid forces produces newborn paths, vision and vitality.

Confluence of the Mississippi River & Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois

The confluence of the Mississippi River & Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois. (© Nathan Benn/Ottochrome/Corbis)

Confluence itself is sort of ‘messy.’  Look at the bottom tip of Illinois where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers come together.  During our first year on-the-road between-homes, we often traveled the bridges over these two rivers around Cairo, IL.
This town is surrounded by three states and two mighty rivers.  Fertile ground for a flourishing community; yet it somehow never took hold.  The area itself is quite dismal, yet strangely inviting to explore how it resolves, sorts itself out.  Sadly, this eerie town stands as a monument to the death of a community by the hands of its own.
Confluence Park Denver

Confluence Park, Denver

The first time I ever related the word confluence in any form of context was when I was in High School.  Driving along the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek in what is now known as the LoDo section of Denver, I believed I had taken a left turn out of the entire state of Colorado.  It was an ugh-lee sight to behold.  Now, however, the area boasts a huge urban park filled to the brim with rafting, tubing, festivals, gardens and trails.  It is a bold testament to the efforts of a community coming together to create beauty and usefulness out of what was once a nature-made blight.
The conundrum here is that waterway confluence in its natural state seems to be rather unprepossessing.  Why would that be?  If these forces form a new creation, it should by definition be a work of beauty.  Or is that our human bias towards creation?
The physical and intellectual juncture of confluence is ‘in the moment’ with an element of accountability.   If not grasped and utilized, the river rapids force the creative elements to continue down the neoteric river flow.  What one does during a convergence of thoughts and ideas while in the midst of creative confluence is crucial to one’s growth, and emergence through creative dry spells.
In the past few weeks, a coming together of many factors has caused a delightful priming of my own dormant creative juices to awaken.  With eyes wide open, I find myself to be on the cusp of a creative confluence.  Finally busting through that stubborn creative dry spell, it feels like I’m tubing down Boulder Creek.
kids tubing on Boulder Creek

Kids tubing down Boulder Creek

Scared silly, wet, wild, loving every freakin’ minute of that liquid freedom.  And, it fits like a glove.  Not the tube or the water, but the realm of re-entering active creation of my primary work of (he)art: music.


Do you have a favorite word that’s working wonders in your ‘Now?’


  1. Anna Scott Graham

    Oh, what an insightful and beautiful post! Lovely to hear how the music juices are flowing again, hurray! I’ll have to roll confluence around in my head for a bit, as well as the deeper meaning of this entry.
    For me, plethora is the word of the moment. Plethora of all sorts of things, more than seem possible, and they keep bubbling from an unknown stream. Yes, plethora about covers it. 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      That’s a good one!

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