Water has been consuming me.
It began post Siem Reap, and falling really ill. I was so ill, I actually caved, and took medicine. Then we arrived in Bali. Each morning here, I awake to a magnificent ocean, the stirrings of the rainforest, rice fields, and shades of blue, of green.
It’s not possible to remain sick for long on the Island of Gods. My appetite returned.
My fever went away.
Growing up, water was a constant friend because Singapore is an island, and my father, a simple man. Many early mornings were spent pulling myself up and down that first lane in the adults’ pool, at the old Chinese Swimming Club. Faster, Harder! My coach relentless but kind; my father watching with a packet of fresh soya bean milk for me, his whole being, so filled with pride.
I stopped swimming when I began to dance. My father retreated, or perhaps it was more like I, who danced away. I only returned to swimming religiously last year, because then I needed to work harder, work faster to teach my arm to move again.
As we usher in the (Chinese) New Year, I’m grateful to be in the presence of so much water once more. It’s such a wonderful metaphor for living and being. I remember watching that youtube clip of Bruce Lee demonstrating quick reflex actions, and his voice saying, “Be like water…” Intrigued, I looked up what he actually said.
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves…. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water…
Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”