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What would water do?

Updated: Mar 6

You know the saying: 'What would Jesus do'?, well, when I get lost or stuck in the studio, when things just don't seem to... flow, and after days and days and days (and days) of wrestling with work in the studio, and wrestling with my self and my seemingly eversoimportant distractions, I give in and eventually ask:

"What would water do?".

Water, in this case, is kind of standing in for Jesus, Buddha, Kylie, or Mum - someone to consult with, whether in imagination or face-to-face if you're lucky, at tricky times.

And so, I give Jesus, Buddha, Kylie and Mum a break, and follow water around.

Of course, I've been continuing to sea swim through the year, immersing myself in water skin-to-skin, membrane-to-membrane, and this healed the migraines, but right now, I need to go down to hang out with the ocean face-to-face, with some paper and a pencil to make sketches on the shore and see what happens.

This time I attempt to sketch the waves, of course, an impossible task as they're always moving, however, it is in the embracing of this impossible and therefore irrational task that, while releasing any clinging onto the known (which is the past) of how waves have previously been depicted, new possibilities open up (in the present) ...and boom, there it is. That connection with life feeling.

I become so absorbed, the mental distraction (again this is either to do with the past or fear of the future - aka, the ego) quietens.

I observe and participate as if for the first time - Beginner's Mind - they call it in Buddhism.

Not that I affiliate with any particular religion as such, if you can call it a religion at that, but my work does resonate with Eastern teachings, and I have also personally come to realise that water teaches its own philosophy. For instance, it shows how to be in the present, in nature, synonymous with your own nature, your own being, showing-up to your own awareness in the moment - for this is where the magic happens. I lose myself and feel like myself once again.

I guide a weekly yoga class for a few artist friends, neighbours, and fellow swimmers to support well-being in the surrounding villages, and one of the things I find I sometimes say is:

Come and be aware in the present moment - for this is where the magic happens.

I practice this because I need to remember this key in my yoga practice, my art practice, my human being practice.

So, faced with an issue, we might wonder: What would water do? Well, what would you really like to do? It's probably that. Explore it, you may find some magic there.

Sketching waves in a storm.


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