24/2/2019 6-minute read

If I can only do one thing today, let me be water.

I will crawl every cracks and holes, seeping my curiosity into every being.

I might run dry eventually, and evaporate, disappear. But if I only have one thing to do, I want to be water.

I can feel it talking to me as I dive beneath its fluid, silky face. The darkness beneath its sunshine reflecting towards the sky. It smiles, and when you dive in, it wallows.

And it wants to talk.

If I don’t have to breathe, or if I breathe water, if I grow gills and can live indefinitely down there, I will hide. Hide like a bright eyed, careful turtle. Hide like the scared gold fish trying not to attract the big bad bully river carp. Hide like a quiet, humble moss, never asking for any attention but only long to be in peace. Hide, hide like the depth of a dark secret, only whispers to confirm that it exist and not just a scary children tale.

How would I describe the touch of water? Silky comes to mind, I don’t know why - it’s unbelievably slick and flowy and moveable and fluid, just like silk. Even more so than silk, if I may say, for it also touches into your every cell, immerse you into one, merging to a single form. Now it’s not just two separate entities of you vs the water. Now it’s you and water both in one. You are the water. The water is you.

Flow if you may, but resistance will suffocate. One becomes consumed by water when fear arise. Then all you can see of the rest of yourself, is your body floating like a wooden log. Life drained away, taken by the water spirits. Fear brings your soul out of your mouth and nose and eyes and lungs, and the soul merges with the water, rejecting the body. The soul and water become one, but the body doesn’t make it to the reunion.

We are made of water. We live with 70% water. Why not more? Why not just become water? We are life. We are the walking water, blobs of consciousness trying to decide who we are if not just nothing but water. Yet we eat and puke and live all around water. It wants to belong. It’s easy going. It’s just seeking a reunion with us.

Why not dive in, and have fun?

Drowning, drown and feeling my life being sapped away, panic, trying to hold onto life and not let go, where does this instinct come from, the water of life that can both give and take, what manner of divinity has given this existence such power?

I speak of water, yet how do I paint a tranquil scene with this word alone?

First I imagine a water colour brush.

They say the characteristic of water colour is to let water be water - don’t force any lines and shapes with it, let it flow as it please. The more you please the water, the more the water will please you. Please your visual sensory. Please your visions of dreams.

Water colour, if you let it run, can represent so many things. Tears, waves, splash, rain drops, ocean deep, clouds, vapour in the sky, ripples, still mirror mountain lake, deep water hole, reflections of sun light, reflections of moon light, life, drown, nourish, drought, tsunami…

Do we only associate water with gentleness because we don’t want to face the cruelty that which water is capable of?

Why am I asking so many questions today?

The waterfall hides secrets behind its wet drapes. I walked through and went inside, because I knew. I made this place up.

Beyond the sunny glittering drapes of water, I stared into the dark, soaking with a waterfall of my own over my body, and I felt cold and sneezed. There’s no turning back now though. Now that I’m here, I must go inside and search its secrets, or its nothing.

Perhaps there really is nothing and I’m just coming up with all sorts of hopeful things just to fill the void. Well, if I have my way, what would the cave be filled with beside nothingness? Frankly I don’t seek treasure, nor a beautiful lover even if that would be nice. I walked in automatically assuming that I would find nothing but misery, and any happy tales are going to be too good to be true. Happy things don’t belong in a secret cave elaborately tugged away behind a waterfall.

But how could you ask me to imagine miserable secrets that I wish I would never knew? This cave may as well remain empty because I wouldn’t want to go through any suffering beyond my control. I can at best think of death, broken heart, loneliness, separation, loss, grief, but if I can see it, then what’s so frightening about that? I take out a book that I brought with me to read instead. Yes, not even a book that I stumbled upon inside the cave or something. Just my own book. This cave may as well have nothing if its contents are purely up to my imaginations.

When I opened the book however, well I didn’t remember exactly what book I brought with me, but I know for sure I did not bring this book - it has my name as the author. It’s a book written under my name and I have not written this at all, let alone published anything in my life. My hands are trembling. It is… the finished version of Black Water.

It was supposed to be a tale of suffering and regret. I wrote my first draft for it, I knew the parts and how it ends, but it was such an unstructured mess that I decided I’m gonna have to rewrite this some day. Still, everytime I see something that reference a scene from Black Water, my brain signals my fingertips to itch for a pen, a keyboard, any writing instrument for me to get started. I don’t want to face it, it’s frightening, and yet I want to face it because it is my story. My deep dark waters. It was my deep dark secrets of life, an alternative what-if reality that ended in nothing but suffocating suffering.

I closed the book abruptly and put it away. The cave got more and more chilly by the passing seconds. I look around the cave. I still wish it had nothing, but it’s too late. I found something in this cave after all. Something that I suspected was going to be frightening beyond my imagination.

It was beyond my imagination because I didn’t make it up. The secret was real.