Quiet, massive. The Mississippi


The Mississippi flows across the land and carves it path this way and that. The picture is from Reelfoot museum, mapping in different colors the many different courses across the years.For the last hundred years or so it has been contained within earthworks that among the largest humanly constructions on the planet. For the most part they look like they will hold the river in once again, except the lowest-lying neighborhoods where the poor live. There are a lot of poor in Memphis, so this is not a small number who will lose–once again–everything.


What is surprising to me–and might be surprising to those reading from a distance about the raging river and it wrath– is that massive flow is actually quiet. It is hard to imagine tens of millions of gallons of muddy water moving in silence. It boils and rolls, carrying trees and clutter from upriver. But it doesn’t seem wrathful, or particularly emotional.


It just does what rivers do, dangerous only to humans who take it personally and fail to respect its ways.

– Posted on the journey

About garygunderson

Vice President, Faith Health, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Author, Leading Causes of Life, Deeply Woven Roots, Boundary Leaders and Religion and the Heath of the Public. Secretary, Stakeholder Health (Health Systems Learning Group).
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