What is Water?

Last night I was in a deep funk. I didn't see much possibility in anything. All that I was working on seemed rather desperate and irrelevant. I played the guitar for a while, that seemed to help a bit, but the cloud over my spirits stayed with me until I went to bed last night. We had gone to the movies, seeing an entertaining film, the battle of the sexes with Steve Carrell and Emma Stone. I don't think I realized how much space it took up in my head, little left to be aware of the beautiful fall night. This morning, the sun came up bright and clear and you probably see where I'm going with this. The lens through which I had been seeing the world was as if some frightened squid had been squirting the blackest of ink into the waters around me. That was what my water was: murky and heading towards black.

Most of the time, I'm unaware of what I'm spewing out into the waters around me. And I'm not aware of the water itself and how its affecting me, and of course how it affects others. It was shocking to witness the taste I carried from the previous night being dissipated in the light of day. In reconnecting with myself this morning, I saw in contrast how I was so disconnected last night.

Coming down to the kitchen, I saw some smoked salmon in the refrigerator and thought, why not, it's Sunday morning. We didn't have any bagels so I pulled out the naan that was waiting for me on the shelf. Not a bagel to be sure, but somehow I felt the marriage of a Jewish tradition with an Indian bread would be well received by both religions. Jewish people, despite a powerful religious and cultural identity carried with pride, remain remarkably open to other religions, perhaps out of compassion born of a sensitivity derived from their own persecution. And, as it is well known, the Indians acknowledge the power and possibility of other religions while not diminishing their own, celebrating Christmas and Hindu holidays without a second thought.

I toast the naan and add the cream cheese, chopped onions and a little lemon. It tastes wonderful. It says: come on in; the water's fine!

It's not often that the clarity of these two experiences are so neatly juxtaposed along with the inkling of the source of each of these dispositions. Of course, at night blackness can descend and the sun is associated with, well, a sunny disposition, the root of this difference resides in the connection or lack of connection with how I am. It creates the color of the water and hence the medium through which I receive everything else. In the squid ink blackness, I can't possibly see this.

Randall HoytComment