top of page

In Praise Of Water


Hi, friend.


Are you feeling Chaotic? Buoyant? Peaceful? Grounded? Head in the clouds? Stormy? Steamy? Thirsty? Refreshed? Courageous? Yearning?

I've been trying lately to find more specific, more acute, more creative words to describe my state at any given time. And to notice how quickly, how often, my state changes.

Its pretty easy (for me, at least) to fall into the belief of THE WORLD IS NUTS I CANNOT KEEP UP WITH THE NEWS I AM ANXIOUS ALL THE TIME WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN as my natural and never-changing state.


My guess is, throughout each day, all of us run through a broader and more dynamic gamut of emotional and physical states.

Let's consider our ever-shifting states as water.

Consider the way water exists on a spectrum of fluid to solid.

Consider the way water takes on the shape of a container ( a moment ) without losing its essential quality of water-ness ( self ).

Consider the way flowing water moves with trust, ever-forward.

Consider the joy of splashing, the grief of tears, the peace of floating.

Consider water as the wave and the sea. The single drop and the entire body.


Gosh, I never really know.

I start writing, and it goes somewhere, and then I try to find my way back to you.


My invitation to us all this week is to notice when we become rigid. When something happens that locks us up, immobilizes or collapses us.

Rather than staying frozen, I invite us to remember the water.

Maybe physically - go drink some water and have the embodied experience of this connection; take a bath or a shower and FEEL the water as it moves across your skin. Maybe you're able to visit a natural body of water near you. Maybe you find a beautiful photo or video or painting of water. Maybe you read a water poem (like the one below).

Then pause and go in.

Let water move you first, cleansing, clearing, making a path for you.

Then pause and go in.

A few deep breaths.

Try to notice what was happening when you contracted. Name it. Find a creative, unique, precise name, that doesn't need to make sense to anyone other than you.

Name it.

And remind yourself that you, too, are made of water.

You can let this contraction flow away.

You can shift your state, or allow it to shift, or be curious about what might happen if you began to try.

Imagine yourself refreshed.

Imagine yourself cleansed.

Imagine yourself the wave and the sea.

Ride that wave of imagining along your inner voyage to feeling more fluid, buoyant, strong, malleable.

And know that we're all on the voyage together.

We are all waves.

We are all the sea, the river, the rain, the snow, the waterfall, the ice, the tears.


by John O'Donohue

Let us bless the grace of water:

The imagination of the primeval ocean Where the first forms of life stirred And emerged to dress the vacant earth With warm quilts of colour.

The well whose liquid root worked Through the long night of clay, Thrusting ahead of itself openings That would yet yield to its yearning Until at last it arises in the desire of light To discover the pure quiver of itself Flowing crystal clear and free Through delighted emptiness.

The courage of a river to continue belief In the slow fall of ground, Always falling farther Towards the unseen ocean.

The river does what words would love, Keeping its appearance By insisting on disappearance; Its only life surrendered To the event of pilgrimage, Carrying the origin to the end,

Seldom pushing or straining, Keeping itself to itself

Everywhere all along its flow, All at one with its sinuous mind, An utter rhythm, never awkward, It continues to swirl Through all unlikeness, With elegance: A ceaseless traverse of presence Soothing on each side The stilled fields, Sounding out its journey, Raising up a buried music Where the silence of time Becomes almost audible.

Tides stirred by the eros of the moon Draw from that permanent restlessness Perfect waves that languidly rise And pleat in gradual forms of aquamarine To offer every last tear of delight At the altar of stillness in-land.

And the rain in the night, driven By the loneliness of the wind To perforate the darkness, As though some air pocket might open To release the perfume of the lost day And salvage some memory From its forsaken turbulence

And drop its weight of longing Into the earth, and anchor.

Let us bless the humility of water, Always willing to take the shape Of whatever otherness holds it.

The buoyancy of water Stronger than the deadening, Downward drag of gravity, The innocence of water, Flowing forth, without thought Of what awaits it, The refreshment of water, Dissolving the crystals of thirst.

Water: voice of grief, Cry of love, In the flowing tear.

Water: vehicle and idiom Of all the inner voyaging That keeps us alive.

Blessed be water, Our first mother.

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page