Reading Water: Lessons from the River

Reading Water: Lessons from the River

by Rebecca Lawton


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Reading Water: Lessons from the River by Rebecca Lawton

Rebecca Lawton begins this literary float trip: "My first view of the river looked like this: a long blue being flexing at the bottom of a steep canyon." Jump in the raft and join this "whitewater gypsy" and naturalist as she rows you down some of the American West's greatest rivers. Rebecca Lawton is a stellar guide. She was among the first women river guides in California, Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, spending ten of her seasons as one of a handful of original boatwomen rowing Grand Canyon. Rebecca became part of a new nomadic culture, traveling from river to river as a guide: "I came to the river for a weekend, but I ended up staying for years." Along with her, you'll come to understand rivers and their impact on the human emotional landscape in a deeper sense. Reading Water offers seekers not only the thrill rides of our rivers -- but also their rich ecosystems and spiritual wellsprings. It views river life through various lenses, including the hydrological, spiritual, and personal. Even armchair river runners will find much to like about the book -- its affection, adventure, wisdom, and sense of place.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781931868617
Publisher: Capital Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/21/2004
Series: Capital Discoveries Series
Edition description: Paperback
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Rebecca Lawton was the first commercially licensed oarswoman on the technically difficult Selway River in Idaho and spent ten of her seasons as one of a handful of original boatwomen rowing the Grand Canyon. In her off-seasons, she studied geology with an emphasis on river processes and then worked in environmental consulting. She holds a B.S. in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Mills College. Her work and her river experiences have appeared in numerous publications, including Womensports, Phoenix Sun Times, and Boise Statesman, as well as the book Women and Wilderness and Breaking into the Current. Ms. Lawton has received a number of literary awards for her prose and poetry and been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. Check her out at

Table of Contents

The Thing in Water1
Braided Love15
Prodigal River28
Eddied Out39
Take the "C" Train54
In the Shadow of Giants67
The Tongue81
Gaining a Loss97
Reading Water115
Traveling Bodies127
Life on the Floodplain152
Of Cobbles, Zen, and River Gods161
Faith in the Dry Season169
Past the Edge of Land179

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