living downstream

I wrote this when my daughter was in kindergarten, and recorded it just after she left for college.

I had intended to write a song extolling our elementary school, to oppose shutting it down, but ended up meandering off into musings on place, names, time, and the dream I’d had the previous night.


I live in a city named after a city,
In a neighborhood named for a creek,
Which is named for a falls - which is named… for the city…
And when I see that waterfall I can’t speak

Because the names wash away with the falling,
And my thoughts wash away with the names,

And my heart fills with love for that water
Till it’s so full that I hope it won’t leak.

I’ve been given a daughter, whom I’ve given my name
(Though another one day she may take).
I watched her flow into this bright and deep world,
And I’ll watch her flow out to the lake.

She ripples and babbles and chuckles,
And runs long where she’s pulled by the earth,

And my heart fills with love for that daughter
Till it’s so full that I hope it won’t break.

I live in a city that’s floating on water
And I’m rowing my boat in a dream.
Before me, my father; behind me, my daughter;
I wonder who’s coxing this team?

And the names flow away with the motion,
And the story flows out of the scene,

And my heart fills with love for this story
Till it’s so full it cascades downstream…
Forever cascading downstream.


TJW: guitar, vocals

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)