Monday, July 27, 2009


My latest project has to do with water. Again and again, we are told that the Earth's surface is mostly water, that our bodies are mostly water, that everything we associate with life is mainly water. And it's all true.

Water as a physical medium effects change in the surface of the earth, conveys trade and piracy, is the object of political machination and outright violence. The location of a harbour, access to the sea or to a mighty river, or the ability to block any of these features — these things have determined the rise and fall of settlements, cities, civilisations.

Water as a concept is the most ubiquitous of metaphors. It has been used to talk about sex, electricity, music, finance, demographics and change. It is still, it is moving, it is pacific, it is violent, it is stored, it is harnessed, it is drunk, it is open, it is all things to all, and there is nothing like it. It is poetry in itself, and makes poetry in others.

Water as a chemical compound is the universal solvent; its combination of strong dipolar character and molecular integrity makes it a stable compound that renders other structures less stable and more willing to react. It is the medium for more necessary biochemical reactions than can be counted, and it alone allows nutrients to spread farther than they normally would.

Water, I have just realised, is not a topic that can easily be compressed into twenty pages or so. But I will have to try not to write a book about it, or I shall surely be... up the creek without a paddle.



Blogger Albrecht Morningblade said...

You left out martial arts and warfare. Water has been used in descriptions/allusions to the adaptability of warriors, blah blah blah. Heck, even Bruce Lee used it.

Friday, July 31, 2009 2:55:00 pm  

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