“Be Water, my friend”

Kate Marvel, climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, writes in a 2017 OnBeing piece that “We should never have called it Earth. Three quarters of the planet’s surface is saltwater….” 

W H Auden ends the poem “First Things First” (in “Collected Poems”) with this immortal line: “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.”

“Water World” — painting by Deepa Krishnan

Shannon Lee begins “Be Water, My Friend: The True Teachings of Bruce Lee” with the following words from Bruce Lee, her father:

Be Water. Be formless, shapeless, like water.

You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.

You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle.

You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.

Now water can flow or it can crash! Be water, my friend.

In “The Penelopiad”, we read Margaret Atwood: “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. Dripping 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.”

Peace 🙂