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So, life on the road began again. Up until this point in the story you don’t know a lot about John’s history, past, family or friends. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get a bunch of information now. Some things are best left unsaid. Not that he is running from his past, rather it is more like his past is running from him. As much as you may want to know more, the muse of the story says for you to do your best to read into his past, put yourself in his shoes. Is your life the cut and dry, normal life? What are you here to do in this lifetime? Are you experiencing some of these same things, though perhaps to a much lesser degree? Hopefully, to a lesser degree! This story isn’t over by any stretch. In some ways we are just getting started, and you are going to get to know much more about John River as you read along. What do you think is going to happen to him?


Remember the movie Shane, where the cowboy mysteriously rides into the story and out again? We don’t know anything about his past, we just like him, and when he rides off into the sunset we are sorry to see him go. “Don’t go Shane, don’t go!” the little boy cries at the end of the movie. This is much the case with John. We don’t know a lot about him, but we can identify him by what we see, hear and feel in the moment. You know you just have a feeling about some people. I promise you that John isn’t a fugitive and he isn’t running from anyone or anything. All of his past has been about “the waiting game” mentioned earlier. He has not been happy or satisfied in any setting in his life so far. You can figure he is in his forties, but you can’t tell his age for sure—just somewhere in there. He may have an accent, but not a typical accent from any one place, more a mixture of many places. He rarely talks about his past, and only occasionally may mention he has been somewhere before. His sights are focused in the moment or somewhere slightly in the future, typically not very far in the future.


So, that pretty much sums up the identity of John River. Yes, as far as we can tell, John River is his name. Of the couple of people who have met his family, one was able to verify the name River was on the mailbox. And there was a glimpse into an old high school yearbook that identified John as a star athlete—baseball, basketball and football. He maintains a level of athleticism in his life today, not by the sports he plays but by the way he lives and gets around in his body. He is fluid, flexible and agile. As was also mentioned before, he is great with his hands. He definitely has the “Midas touch.” He can fix, repair, start, run and drive any instrument, tool or vehicle. He is a modern-day cowboy, except his horse is his Dodge Ram pickup truck. He opted for a four-wheel drive with a V-8 engine so he can go just about anywhere and pull a camper or trailer easily. Now that he has the Airstream, it looks like he has it figured out as he is hitting the road for parts unknown.

the baptism The Baptism is a fictional novel that starts in 2011, when the story of a man who is at a turning point in his life began coming to me in a series of vignettes. The story follows one main character, John River, who has an ongoing supernatural experience with the Mother Earth. I hope you have as much fun reading this story as I’ve had writing it and I encourage comments and feedback because my vision for this journey is an interactive one. You can subscribe here to receive new chapters by email, and view the Table of Contents. Enjoy!

One thought on “Check-in”

  1. Robin Ruocco Poling says:

    Yes I do like him. and I don’t much mind not knowing his past. I like his ability to be in the present – something rare to find in a person.

    As far as myself, I suppose I’m somewhat out of step with the normal, cut and dry. But not by much. And what am I here to do? that seems an enormous question, much of which I do not yet fully have the answers to. So far I can see it is to wake up, love and heal myself, come to know as best I can my True Self and share it with others, who really aren’t other at all but interconnected with me and everything else. As John continues, so do I. Thank you for providing this moment of reflection.

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