Dear River

An open love letter to the Mississippi

Love is complicated, and so is our relationship to the Mississippi River. Dear River invites you to express your connection to the Mississippi through words and images. Together we'll write the river, one line at a time. By gathering stories and sentiments from near and far into a single stream, we can celebrate the range of experiences and emotions that comprise life on the Mississippi. Love, fear, anger, joy, sadness or hope - what will you write the river?

hope

“A river touching the back of a town is
like a wing, it may be unused as yet, but
ready to waft it over the world. With its
rapid current it is a slightly fluttering
wing. River towns are winged towns.”

—  - Henry David Thoreau

love
hope

Remember when we shared spit? It was on the No. 9 Bridge. Leaning against the rail, I looked down at you flowing. I knew that on your route you would touch Red Wing, my hometown. I wanted to send my family a message. I spit over the rail. You caught it. Our fluids mingled, then you moved on.

—  KA

sadness

Unbeknownst to mindless men, you are our "away".
Our society's blemishes, our mistakes
Are washed "away" with each drop of rain.
Downstream you carry our burdens
And just as soon, we forget
And make the same mistakes again.
My apologies, dear river, on behalf of mindless men.

—  L.R.

love

I always feel like I'm in another world when I'm with you.

—  Adrienne

hope

The people giveth
We clean it all at Metro
Ol' Man River lives

—  Ray Smith

joy
hope

Its a comfort watching you move. You're continually progressing. I wish I was like you, filled with regular movement. I wish I had currents, like yours, to direct me where to go next. But I think maybe you wish you could pause and rest for a while, like I can do. I think we can learn from each other

—  Megan

hope
hope

You have been my arranged marriage; ursuping a mad-wild love affair with the Pacific. With time, I came to understand the rise and fall, bend and break, freeze and steam of you. Soon, I hope you will carry me. Perhaps I am ready to trust us with a small boat, currents and all.

—  Emily Seru

A connection to the Mississippi