Adjust, Alter, and Adapt: Becoming Like Water as a Writer
Recovery: An introduction to Water
I fought the idea of recovery without knowing its name and clashed with all the people who only knew to tell me to quit using. I knew that it was an insidious cycle, one that I loathed; however, I did not understand that there were ways to help me break the cycle and learn to flow with life experiences.
This lesson has helped me as a writer be more patient with the creative process.
Water: Adapting to its Environment
One of my doctors had multiple images of water on his office walls. Still ponds, tranquil pools, raging oceans and other examples of the power of water to flow where it had to in the most expedient manner possible. Besides the wall reminders, there was an aquarium and small table size waterfall.
He commented that when we become like water, we stop trying to fit the circumstances to our way of thinking and flow with the events offering no resistance but getting to the other side. His analogy helped me when I had conflicting thoughts and feelings about my recovery.
It's the same way with writing.
Ideas: Swimming Aimlessly Through our Minds
Sometimes two or three ideas are swimming in our minds; each good but fighting with each other for prominence.
Then there are other ideas that only yesterday were percolating; bubbling in that yonder brook manner.
We hear the various ideas in our head, and know there's an article there, but it's out of focus for now.
I also know not to rush this process; the writing will come.
I just have to be patient, and I'm not a very patient person.
But I am fantastic at distracting my impatient side. I find researching my subject is what I call, "Productive and Creative Procrastination" and it works for me. How do I do that?
I continue with my source subject and see what great writers, artists, and other have to say. I'd like to share some of the excellent water quotes with you.
For More Inspiration See Amy Tan's Video at the end of the article.
Productive and Creative Procrastination on the Subject of Water
“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient.
Water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
Margaret Atwood: Author
“If gold has been prized because it is the most inert element, changeless and incorruptible, water is prized for the opposite reason -- its fluidity, mobility, changeability that make it a necessity and a metaphor for life itself.
To value gold over water is to value economy over ecology, that which can be locked up over that which connects all things.”
Rebecca Solnit: Author
B. R. Ambedkar
"Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives.
Man's life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self."
B. R. Ambedkar: architect of the Indian Constitution
"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea."
Isak Dinesen: Author
F. Scott Fitzgerald
"All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath."
F. Scott Fitzgerald:Author
"Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still."
Barbara Kingsolver: Author
"Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also learn from holy books and wise people. Everything - even mountains, rivers, plants and trees - should be your teacher."
Morihei Ueshiba: The founder of Aikido martial arts
Leonardo da Vinci
"Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation... even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind."
Leonardo da Vinci: Inventor, artist
"If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows.
The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water."
Ernest Hemingway: Author
"My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water."
Mark Twain: Author
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
"I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom."
Clarissa Pinkola Estes: Author
"Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think."
Robert Henri: Artist
C. JoyBell C.
“Anger is like flowing water; there's nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow. Hate is like stagnant water; anger that you denied yourself the freedom to feel, the freedom to flow; water that you gathered in one place and left to forget.
Stagnant water becomes dirty, stinky, disease-ridden, poisonous, deadly; that is your hate. On flowing water travels little paper boats; paper boats of forgiveness. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow your waters to flow, along with all the paper boats of forgiveness. Be human.”
C. JoyBell C.: Author
“...a small stream...sings a carefree song as it runs by your house.
It is so nonthreatening that you can sit by it, look at your reflection in the water, and even wash your hands in it. It is yours, your personal stream.
Yet you know that it has originated in the sea and is on its way back to where it has come from. When passing by your house, however, it is yours.
You can say it is a personal moment you have torn out of eternity to keep in your pocket for yourself.”
Fatemeh Keshavarz: Professor of Persian Studies and Author
Francis Harold Cook
“Can the water in the valleys ever stop and rest? When the water finally reaches the sea, it becomes great waves.”
Francis Harold Cook: Author
"Imagine a multidimensional spider's web in the early morning covered with dew drops.
And every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops.
And, in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection.
And so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image."
Alan Watts: Author
Mehmet Murat ildan
“Water is happy when it falls; water is happy when it rises! We call this as wisdom!”
"Water enters the dark sewer grates with no fear; it travels everywhere; it learns some things from everything and this is the secret of water’s wisdom!”
Mehmet Murat ildan: Author
Which quote or image spoke to you?
Moving from Contemplation to Content
I took a break from finding quotes and images; there are just too many that I found inspirational.
So, I read some comments. I make it a practice if I get a comment from someone new, I immediately go to their Hubs and read one; this just keeps me on track.
And guess what, Kristen Howe has an article that reminded me of the benefits of hydrotherapy and how much I enjoy the advantages of my sister's gym over mine.
She has access to an excellent spa, Jacuzzi, and whirlpool - there's that water image again. I might have to schedule a visit soon.
In the meantime, those words in my mind? They were coalescing and starting to form my next piece.
See, that's how productive and creative procrastination can provide you with inspiration and focus.
Hope you try it and let me know the outcome.
Tagline: Write, share and grow together.