TAKE MORE WATER WITH IT. (From the bath of Serena Cairns!)
Lying back in the bath, the warm water gently washing away cares along with grime, you relax in its womb-like buoyancy. You feel pampered, safe and comfortable. An idea forms in the blank void that was your mind. Snatches of meaningful dialogue rattle off strange tongues, and emotions threaten to swamp you in a sea of creativity. You reach for pen and paper, but no, you've left them on your desk... again. You try to stem the flow of ideas, knowing you can only remember so much, but the blockage you've suffered from for days has been swept away by a mental Dyno-Rod, and Pulitzer prize material disappears down the river of lost thoughts before you can grasp a towel and slop your way to the word-processor. Sound familiar?
We generally assume the reason for this creative surge has something to do with relaxation, but what if there's more to it than that? What if, as the saying goes, we 'feel it in our water'?
We all know the moon governs emotions, and, in astrology, the water signs are emotional. The moon causes the ebb and flow of the tides, and, as our bodies are composed of 86% water, it must exert a tremendous pull on us too. The percentage of water in our brain is even higher. There is exactly the same amount of water on our planet as there was when it was formed, not a drop more, not a drop less. It changes form, of course, evaporating, condensing, falling, freezing, but it's still the same water whether it makes up the oceans and rivers, the thunderclouds or our bodies, and part of that large body of water also fills our bath.
Water gives life. Without it nothing would live, but it also destroys life with floods and tidal waves. People drown in the same element that cocooned them before birth.
The water lapping around your reclining form could have run off the back of a Tyrannosaurus rex, or, for that matter, through a Tyrannosaurus rex (Michael Crichton probably bathed in something similar). It could have lapped at the hull of a galley ship manned by weary slaves, or washed the bloodied decks after the Battle of Trafalgar. Maybe it was used to mop the brow of a small child dying of Bubonic plague, or was the last few drops in the canteen of a thirsty man lost in the desert. It could have protected the infant Alexander within his mother's womb, crested as snow on the
highest peaks or fallen, salty, as Cleopatra's tears. Nothing that has
taken place on this planet, involving any living thing (and most non-living
too), has done so without the presence of water. It is a conductor of
images. Is it any wonder that, when we are relaxed and receptive,
surrounded by this most essential of elements, we pick up and absorb the
memories, the visions and the motion of several million years?
Maybe that masterpiece you thought of today was drawn from memories, memories contained in a minuscule particle of water that makes up your body content, was sipped in your early morning cup of tea or in the gin-and-tonic last night at your local.
You could argue that fantasy and science fiction cannot be remembered, but the emotions, incentives, hopes and fears, courage and everything else that plays a part in such stories can be. It is only the time and setting that is altered. When all the strange and varied beliefs of the world are composted down, we shouldn't be surprised when some of us harvest an unusual crop.
It's not such a strange idea when you consider that stones store impressions, emotions and scenes, which are later picked up as feelings or ghost sightings by those in the right state of mind to 'receive'. Why can't water act in the same way?
Carry it one step further and we could have yet another explanation for hypnotic regression into supposed past lives. The individuals being regressed are in an imposed state of relaxation. Who's to say the verifiable facts that come from such a state aren't coming from the water content of their own bodies? OK, so I'm letting my imagination/creativity come into play here, but then I blame it on the water.
Perhaps I'm crazy, but by all means put my theory to the test next time you suffer from writer's block. If you really want to dip into the Cauldron of Inspiration, I suggest you grab your pen and paper and take a long, long soak.
© Serena Cairns (previously published in a pagan writers' magazine.)
NB Since writing this, it has occurred to me that it is not strictly true that there is the same amount of water on this planet as there has always been. The advent of space travel means that water may well have left our atmosphere, and there is also the possibility some may have arrived by meteor. However, we are talking minute amounts, and it no way detracts from the basis of my conjecture.