16 August 2010

Awaiting Water From the Overcast

Water: Beautiful Mother, Home, and Soul

Today under an overcast morning sky, I anticipated water. The wild silver fumes of clouds that puff over expansively remind me that they were once parts of oceans, seas, rivers, and lakes, any language of water affected enough by heat to condensate. Water is quite a pleasing notion to me, ever the symbol for such ideas as change, birth and purity, life and consciousness--it is quite difficult to not be drawn to it. Accounting for 70% of the Earth's surface and a similar 70% of our interior human bodies, its not so easily an ignorable element. Exiting the 6 station at Astor Place, I look up and marvel at the compilation of Earth's aquatic surfaces holding their breath in a gaseous phase, I think of Baudelaire's poem which ends, "Eh, qu' aimes-tu donc, extraordinaire etranger?" to which the etranger replies, "J'aime les nuages...les nuages qui passent...la bas...la bas...les merveilleux nuages!" Over there...over there...the marvelous clouds.

Whether poured into a tall drinking glass or spraying out from a shower head; whether lubricating a tube-slide at an amusement park or obscuring distance through a dense fog--from pools to beaches, fountains to waterfalls, ice cubes and vapors, streams, brooks, geysers and rapids; fire hoses and hydrotherapy--Water, from all its uses to its most sub-molecular levels of design, seems to me one of the most wonderful inventions of nature. Of nature and perhaps, of the universe.

I was by the Hudson yesterday. Resting on the grass, reading The Mating Mind, and watching the sky begin its sentimental songs of farewell through the blushing colors of dusk. I sat up and glanced over at the river. Before even reaching the Hudson, I could see the river from a distance, as I walked down Bank, right in the middle of the street against the seldom traffic. Between rows of apartment houses that shrank into a converging vantage point, a blue horizon--that with sun-reflecting glints, sparkled; a blue horizon stood like a wall at the eventual seemingly dead-end of Bank Street. Of course one knows better, Bank Street doesn't end with the Hudson, it ends with the Westside Highway--which one has to wait an expensive amount of time before a red light allows you to dissect across, onto the bike path and promenade of Hudson River Park.

When I glanced over to the river, it was the sparks, like spontaneous electric snaps that jumped from the wavy surface of the water, that caught my attention. Among all the separate waves that interacted, shifting this way and that, affected by the wind and the slightest movement from boats, vessels or lifeforms above or below--among the waves, the sun reflected and shimmered, like gilded coins, falling from the sun's palms and bouncing on the skin of the river before sinking within. I thought about randomness. I observed the lack of pattern from where the sparks would jump; contrary to anticipation, they would appear from no apparent set sequence or order. Just as the waves themselves had no apparent, determinable pattern, nor did the shards of sun that surfed them. I got my mind thinking about sparks of life, the human soul if you'd humor me such a term. I thought that this must be what it looks like from a universal perspective--that all life, each individual can be represented as a falling gilded coin; that the surface is the momentary life they live until finally submerging. The spark is the bounce of life, its wave which we ride only for the most temporary of time and space. Our souls are probably such a thing, dropping from an eminent source onto a reflective surface, a liquid mirror and we all appear as random specks. No sooner do we surface than we submerge, never again to repeat. Only we don't really submerge because we were never truly on the surface in the first place; we were only a reflection of the source to which we return. We are all the source, collectively.

This talk of souls and sources, reflection and randomness, is in fact, only randomness. It is definitely not the point I meant to arrive at. I meant to only illustrate my love for water, how it calms me and how mesmerizing it can be to just stare at that moving element, or technically two elements dancing as a compound. Its so pure and gracing; if nothing else is, water is truth--Truth, yet its surreal and consistent but flexible. "Be formless, shapeless--like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup; you put water in a bottle it becomes the bottle; you put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash, be water my friend," Bruce Lee tells us. Put water in a human...? It has adapted to us, water has taken our shape and acts through us but can we in turn take from its example, to be true yet remain surreal; be consistent yet flexible.

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