The beauty of water

I don’t know where to start this and at the back of my mind I’m already wondering if I can find the words to express what I would like to share. Right now, as I pause at my keyboard there is a slipping back; back and out of the forms and conventions that make up this human experience. As nothing, and yet aliveness; without conditions and yet beingness; there is no word that expresses that which precedes awareness or knowing and yet this is the experiencing that is present.

I’m not satisfied with these words, as I suspected I wouldn’t be. I can’t explain it but it feels at all times as though I’m standing in a stream with the water flowing over my feet and ankles. The water is the real, it is pure life and everything else is shadow and changing conditions. I listen and take it in but my attention is on the water which is why I smile, even when the shadows dance horribly.


At times I’m not standing in the water but cease and there’s no water and no not-water. I want to share the experience but feel lost for words. So I stand in the water hoping someone will notice and perhaps their curiosity will overcome their trepidation. Perhaps they’ll slip off their shoes and socks and join me, and feel how wonderful the real is after the shadow dances. You can’t describe the water to the shadows, they don’t understand it. They don’t understand not dancing. They can’t see the unreality and meaninglessness of their gestures and movements. When they stop they cease and this they fear above all, and so on they gyrate, finding new forms and expressions of apparent interaction.

In the water it is still and cool and the light that radiates around is soothing and calm. I know the frantic shadows envy the peace of it but they can’t bring themselves to be still in case they accidentally stop. Some play at moving slowly but even this is a struggle for them.

I stand with my feet in the cool water and without looking I see. They want to tell me I don’t understand the dance and they’re right. But I understand it’s not real. There have always been shadow dances, always new, always the same. I close my eyes and feel the water. The real.

Then one of them steps from the shadows and joins me. I call this a miracle. Standing smiling in the water. We look at each other but no words are necessary. She knows too. We’re water, only the looking makes us stand. The shadows dance on around us. The gentle light in the water is beauty, it is all beauty. But the shadows stay back, in the light they dissolve. ‘It’s really not so bad, you’re water’, I would like to say to them. But they wouldn’t understand. The dance seems more important, it’s all that matters to them. They were born of the dance and they live it.

I stand in the water. It’s so beautiful. Should I say something? Knowing they won’t listen or can’t hear, should I speak anyway? What would I say, how can I tell them? Perhaps another will join me; join us, as water.

2 thoughts on “The beauty of water

  1. Very nice allegory Andrew…Watching (my)interested family and friends experience brain damage or confusion accompanied by glazed over eyes(they noticed a dramatic shift in my response to life stuff)…I most carefully try to describe,report or point a bit,much less nowadays (spent a year and a half righteously arguing on FB sites)….a relaxed ordinary life can look extraordinary to many….The water is great❤️

    • I hear that. It makes me laugh now to think of it but one of the first things I did was go to my local Buddhist monastery. I wanted to tell the monks that I’d found what they were looking for. Needless to say it didn’t work out.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s