Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation in writing of “this dream made of water,” looks to the great river as a “spinal column.” An interesting metaphor. The nervous system enables a body to move. For thinking life, it means a brain can conceive, and various body parts carry out the desired action. It also communicates senses to the brain, and the person can respond–to joy, pain, surprise, wonder, and in any number of ways, feeling and thinking.
45. The Amazon is also the spinal column that creates harmony and unity: “the river does not divide us. It unites us and helps us live together amid different cultures and languages”.[REPAM, Document Eje de Fronteras. Preparación para el Sínodo de la Amazonia, Tabatinga-Brasil (3 February 2019), p. 3; cf. Instrumentum Laboris, 8] While it is true that in these lands there are many “Amazon regions”, the principal axis is the great river, the offspring of many rivers:
“From the high mountain range where the snows are eternal, the water descends and traces a shimmering line along the ancient skin of the rock: the Amazon is born. It is born every second. It descends slowly, a sinuous ray of light, and then swells in the lowland. Rushing upon green spaces, it invents its own path and expands. Underground waters well up to embrace the water that falls from the Andes. From the belly of the pure white clouds, swept by the wind, water falls from heaven. It collects and advances, multiplied in infinite pathways, bathing the immense plain… This is the Great Amazonia, covering the humid tropic with its astonishingly thick forest, vast reaches untouched by man, pulsing with life threading through its deep waters… From the time that men have lived there, there has arisen from the depths of its waters, and running through the heart of its forest, a terrible fear: that its life is slowly but surely coming to an end”.[Amadeu Thiago de Lello, Amazonas, patria da agua. Spanish translation by Jorge Timossi, in http://letras-uruguay.espaciolatino.com/aaa/mello_thiago/amazonas_patria_da_agua.htm]
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