Being Water

Written May 17th, 2011.

I am Water in the same way that matter is energy. Even though I take many shapes that seem solid, seem to be built of fur and muscle and bone and claw, when you zoom in to see the essence, it is always Water flowing. I am never as concrete, stable, or strong as I seem, as much as I wish otherwise.

My colors are deep blues and purples, but especially river-teal and mercury-silver. They are all colors that flow, that move like colored ink in water currents. The world around me looks like patches of color in currents, taking fleeting shapes before transmogrifying into something else, pushed and pulled by the motion of the [energy/Universal Soul/Tao] that drowns us all. (I don't see empty space or air; it's all Water to me, the stuff we breathe, the stuff that moves around us and connects us.)

At a macro level, when I am seen as a simply physical creature, my colors are green for growth and brown for strength, but they are more projected ideals and hopes than truths. I want to have a skeleton made of bones instead of cartilage, firm muscles instead of fountains shaped to mimic the curves and flexures, but right now, I don't. I struggle to remain stable, balanced, unruffled by my environment (which includes the emotional, physical, mental states of others within it) - but that's not how Water works. I wear the barest skin of Earth, molded like fur, but it's easily bypassed or outright punctured by external influences.

Water doesn't grow like plants do; Water takes into it sediment, fallen things, dying things and living things, and it changes, but it doesn't quite grow. At any given time, what is within Water may pass out of it again, and Water's essence is unaffected, but its sum is changed again. I forget easily, more a creature of tactile experience and present emotion than linear memory, and I lose pieces of me or knowledge or skills easily, but I am still changed by what passes into and out of me.

Many things (actions, experiences, people) can stain me-as-Water; sometimes I am but a cup of myself, severed from the rest of me and taking the shape of my container (circumstances, surroundings), and it is as easy to stain me as it is to steep tea. I am disproportionately damaged/affected then, even once that part of myself returns to the rest of me and reunites; it doesn't dilute quickly at all. But when I am me, when I am the source, the river, the flow, almost nothing is large enough, dense enough, black enough to resist the pull and dissolution of my moving currents, and I do not care, am not affected by it.

Water is ever-changing, impermanent, transient, eternal. The essence of water never changes, but the sum of the river does, the colors staining it however minutely, the hard bodies it carries along in its currents. If Water stops and becomes stagnant, it decays and rots (in its own way, not quite like flesh or wood), so it must move. It changes with no warning, bending around obstacles, reacting to changes in its environment like the snake's body heat is affected by the temperature of the air and soil. It can go from placid to frothing whitewater with very little provocation, yet return again to smooth flow as soon as the rocks are past.

Water is the one thing that Fire cannot destroy. Fire consumes Air, burns and blackens Earth, but all it can do is evaporate Water, and Water will simply rain down again in time. This is important, as the few people who are threats to me are Fire or mixed-Fire types, either metaphorically or metaphysically. Water carves its place in Earth and offers sustenance to life, a beneficial partnership; Water holds Air within it and is a heavier brother to the wind.

Cat, if you look at it as a whole, as a pacing beast in the woods, is Earth and a little Air. Pragmatic, grounded, deeply physical, tactile, sensory, survivalist. It has little regard for emotions, no need for much beyond eating, sleeping, keeping land, and surviving to propagate the species. Solitary, it doesn't need to cushion the impact of its actions or states-of-being (hostile, placid, aggressive, wary, curious) in a socially-acceptable manner. Its interactions are limited, so its social intelligence is low and its emotional sensitivity nearly null. It simply takes the actions necessary to bring pleasure or to survive.

I am Cat and Water (and many other things, but primarily these), so my state of being can switch swiftly and powerfully, typically because of external influences. I change more than grow. I forget easily, but retain the effects of my experiences. I move and have nearly no sense of time. I am driven by emotion and tactile experience, and I do not do things that are not either pleasurable or necessary for survival. I am very self-centered, a solitary animal, and my only saving grace in being socially acceptable in this human society is my Water-borne empathy. I am invested in having positive/beneficial surroundings, both in terms of place and people, for mostly self-centric reasons. I don't care about things that don't directly, currently affect me, and I don't care about not caring.

This is what I mean when I say I'm a Water person, in addition to being a Barbary.

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