Writ in Water

Published on 2018-03-21

I lingered almost ten minutes over that title. 

I wanted to add a colon, and something after it. I wanted to make a pun about water, drops, and this Drip. I wanted the title to tie together -- in that small space! -- the rush and swirl of thoughts I have about water, writing, rain, tides, impermanence, cycles, waves, fame, Keats, Spenser, the academy, the canon. Something about grooves, wearing them down, Barbara Herrnstein Smith's "Contingencies of Value," Ken Liu's "Phase Shift." 

I wanted the title to do the work of the essay -- both because I didn't feel I have time to write it (though clearly I had time to agonize over it to no purpose), and because I didn't trust anyone would want to read it without knowing entirely what it was about. 

This is what I feel the last several years of social media have done to my thoughts: made them into skipping stones rippling surfaces, instead of deep dives into places I want to explore. I long to dive, to shift from hummingbird to cormorant for a while, to root around in sunken places for something worthwhile to bring back to the surface. To make, in the midst of the internet's shifting currents, something anchored and restful. 

But ripples are lovely and far-reaching, and deep dives are solitary, and I love having conversations!  I hope to still do that, here -- but to build a space for those conversations to exist in which I don't feel like I'm frantically treading water, always writing from in-between. 

I want to write about what it means to write in water -- to go from Writ In Water to Written Water, something to quench a thirst or grow a plant or wash a wound. 

One drop at a time.