in rural Paris, Iowa, and Wordpress

Had I a Soul, this River Would Flow Through It

Low River

Low River

Here in the presence of all, I wish to confess my love of the river. The river in question is denominated the Wapsipinicon on maps, a river of modest proportions running through the country in which I grew up. I would explain the pronunciation were that important.

I nearly crumpled up in the grip of the temptation to write something in the spirit of . . . say . . . “the river flows through my soul.”

That sort of thing belongs to the likes of George Harrison. That sort of thing belongs in the hymnals. I haven’t a mystical bone in my body, born as I was entirely lacking in the religion gene. I do not hold it against anyone who is of a mystical bent. It’s just that were I to write something like “the river flows through my soul,” I ought then to be drug out, stood up against some wall, and shot for rankly criminal hypocrisy. And anyway, what exactly would such a phrase mean?

I enjoyed Sparrow’s diary kept during his gradual loss of religion. [See page 20 of the September 2014 issue of The Sun.] (By the way who the hell is Sparrow?) Take this entry for example:

March 1

At times I feel waves of love pouring down on me from above. I used to be certain that this was the presence of God. Now I think: Maybe I’m just happy.

So it is that I myself am awfully happy whenever I am by this river.

Trapper Jack's Deck











With Trapper Jack on his deck overlooking that stretch of the river.

9 Responses to “Had I a Soul, this River Would Flow Through It”

  1. mlhe

    The Sun! The writer known as Sparrow! (I feel responsible for putting a little sunlight in your ‘soul’–whatever that thing known as your ‘soul’ is!)

    • StephenBrassawe

      I have been getting that rag in the mail ever since you put me onto it, Mary. For the much greater part I enjoy it, albeit at times a bit overly laden with “woe is me” material. I mean, they should not solicit pieces from the general readership. That’s like a talk show host on the radio asking listeners to call in. Precisely the wrong listeners are always the ones who call in.

  2. sonnyboy3

    There is something about moving water, and especially familiar moving water…I am not spiritual either. Maybe it is something akin to what tugs the salmon to return to their place of origin to complete their life cycle. Quien sabe?

    • StephenBrassawe

      Who knows? The highly variable personality of the thing is a part of it, too. Thanks for stopping by again, sonnyboy.

  3. michel pellerin

    Dear Steve, je m’incline devant ta virtuosité. Yes, I know, it’s f… French but impossible to translate properly. You write “the river flows through my soul.” My answer is Why not ? The very advantage of aging is that we can speak loudly what we think.

  4. Angeline M

    I’ve been reading the Sun for a few years now, and I have no clue who Sparrow is. March 1 was fitting…for you both.

  5. marypat45

    What Sun? What Sparrow? Won’t rest until I can read the diary kept during his gradual loss of religion.


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