This Is Water
Driving to teach a yoga class one early Monday morning, I was searching my mind for some words of inspiration and wisdom for my class. I wasn’t feeling it. Four and a half hours of sleep and rushing to get ready for a 6:00 a.m. class left no time for my usual morning writing reflection. While driving, I was halfway to class before I noticed what was all around me, the unusual brightness of the morning.
I looked up and found the way to start my class. It came from the light of a large full moon’s impossibly perfect circle.
Awestruck out of my malaise, the words came to me. Sometimes you have to remind yourself:
“This is Water.”
I remembered David Foster Wallace's renown commencement address to a graduation class at Kenyon College that begins with a story that millions have watched.
“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?”
And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”
There are two truths David Foster Wallace recites in the speech. He calls them -
CAPITAL T truths.
1. "The thing that is capital "T" true is that YOU get to decide how you're going to see it.
You get to decide what has meaning and what doesn't."
2. “The capital “T” Truth is about life before death. It is about . . . awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:
“This is water.”
Today I looked up and saw the moon. I remembered the words from David Foster Wallace and I shared his story with my class. My hope was that they would look around that day and see what we take for granted - the water all around us.
In memory of David Foster Wallace
“And those who love you will behold you across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.” ~ from Recommendation, Thich Nhat Hanh