’til the river runs dry

I will sail my vessel ‘til the river runs dry.

            Like a bird upon the wind, these waters are my sky.

            I’ll never reach my destination if I never try,

            So I will sail my vessel ‘til the river runs dry.

Garth Brooks’s lyrics sing a song of determination that begins with his all-important first step of getting into the boat with a sense of purpose and working as hard as he can to keep the vessel from tipping over in heavy winds.

Whether our rivers are real or imaginary, it is sometimes difficult to keep sailing our vessels in the right direction to achieve the long-term results we strive for as individuals, as families – and even as a nation.

Carl Bernstein (of Bernstein and Woodward in the Nixon years) says we Americans live today in the midst of a cold civil war. Garth Brooks might say that sailing our vessel of democracy has gotten much more difficult as heavy winds blow against it with more suspicions of each other in every news cycle.

Discernment of truth is ridiculed. Harsh rhetoric – whether true or not – is applauded and considered to be shaking things up that should have been shaken up a long time ago in Washington. Our vessel of democracy tilts too far leeward or too far windward with politics to the left or right that create schisms which have become as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Earth to America: your vessel is in trouble and in danger of sinking.

The passion we feel to protect and preserve our families must be the same passion we feel to protect and preserve our democratic ideals. A small wind of individual apathy toward basic civic responsibilities such as voting can become a hurricane force when it is multiplied by millions who have lost faith in their institutions and the people who are in charge of them.

All of us are in the same boat with the same basic needs for clean air to breathe, food to eat, pure water to drink,  affordable popcorn at the movies…well, maybe popcorn is a bridge too far…

We must each do our part to ensure the waters of kindness, compassion, respect for our differences, celebration of our shared humanity – like birds upon the wind, these waters are our skies and we will sail our vessels as individuals, as families and as a nation ’til the river runs dry.


About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to ’til the river runs dry

  1. diannegray says:

    Well said, Sheila – and I’ll just add that Australia also needs to get their boat steady on the water as well 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. candidkay says:

    Yes! The scariest people to me are those who don’t see the collective good matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wayside Artist says:

    Amen, Sister! Our beautiful blue world is all we have.

    Liked by 1 person

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