In the concluding page of «Walden» Henry David Thoreau compares the life in us to the water in a river: «It may rise this year higher than man has ever known it, and flood the parched uplands; even this may be the eventful year, which will drown out all our muskrats», he declares in oracular fashion. And, naturally, he wishes that the flood will also reach the parched land within us. The comparison is rather obvious because, as we know, our body consists of about 80 per cent water, and because without water there would be no life in us. We are, so to say, water – almost exactly like the river. It’s astonishing then that the life within us does not feel more watery. But is the life itself sensed at all? We take life’s multiple manifestations seriously: our breath, our hunger, our headache – but the life itself?
It’s well possible that Thoreau is correct, that the life in us is like the water in a river. In the world around us, too, water plays a central role – and here too it is evident: without water, no life. Naturally the water inside us is in constant exchange with the water outside – because we are, after all, a part of this world. However, it often seems that our own life water, in comparison with the thunderous force of the world waters, is a shabby drop that has been accidentally shaken off something. But this is a drop that we form – uninterruptedly – all through our lives. Reason enough to squeeze so much attention into the simplest of activities that it appears magnificent to us. Unfortunately, we do not always have the right amount of pressure for such a conscious dealing with water.
First Publication: 7-8-2013