” Poetry isn’t an island, it is the bridge. Poetry isn’t a ship, it is the lifeboat. Poetry isn’t swimming. Poetry is water.” Kamand Kojouri.
I love this quote. For me it also works in reverse. “Water isn’t a local issue, the water cycle is the bridge that connects us all. Water isn’t just a resource. Water is a source of inspiration. Water is poetry.
Your article, The Memory of Water, you described how scientist capture images of the crystals water forms when exposed to positive vibrations, which reflect a piece of art gifted to us by nature. Science believes the unique properties of water are largely a result of its chemical structure. But there is more to this as you describe in your posts. They taught me a lot about water on a molecular level and the beauty of water through images of crystals. The mission of our Water Appreciation Society is to share water moments in daily life, on travels, in music, in paintings, in poetry. Rather than telling another nature crisis story about water, there is something about water that we can all resonate with and appreciate. What you described as good vibration.
If plants grow better when we are kind to them, imagine what would happen if we would treat our waters with more appreciation. And what this would do to people, who are mainly water. Every positive vibration matters. We nearly always overlook the special relationship water has with our lives. We think water is an ordinarily substance and take it for granted. Water is not a top-of-mind issue. Whether you have good access or not, it’s often seen as a given.
Why we don’t value water.
The value of water is more than the true cost of delivering reliable services. Willingness to pay studies have shown that people rather pay their electricity bills to secure WiFi and mobile phone contracts but are surprised when they see their water bills and reluctantly pay those. Water infrastructure is capital intensive. It’s not just the value of the resource itself but the value of the delivery system and the people who work on brining water to our households that is said to not be recognised enough. The value of water can in a first instance be described in price that reflects the full cost of delivering a service, accounting for the value of the treatment cost and the value of the raw water. But what truly is the value of raw water in the environment? While there is an understanding for of a price as what is paid for access, use and consumption of water, a common value-based definition sees the value of water are the total benefits derived from it, either through market or non-market context. A market value of water is your water use to produce a product or crop. A non-market value could be in use for a cultural ceremony or in non-use for conservation efforts. An intrinsic value is something that you value, for its own sake.
The value of water is intrinsic. Appreciation captures what we value without giving it an economics connotation.
What is appreciation?
Appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone. Appreciation is a full understanding of a situation. Appreciation is gratitude. Appreciation is recognition of worth or excellence.
Water is not separate from us. We are all inherently linked to water. Earth is 70% water and so are we. Our water is the lifeblood of Earth. Appreciating every glass of water you drink is appreciating yourself. Treating water with care is an act to protect the next glass of water you are going to drink.
We don’t give value to nature itself. Which translates into not valuing ourselves, as we are all inherently nature. Our bodies, our organisms are nature. We thrive on living in a symbiosis with light, air, water and soil every day. Seeing yourself separate from water or nature means not appreciating ourselves is a fundamental flaw of our modern existence. Valuing and appreciating water is not just something religious or indigenous communities do. Every time you enjoy a cool refreshing glass of water, spend a day by the pool, take a hot shower after a long day at work, you are undertaking a water ritual. You might not fully be aware of it, but you do. These are water moments. I call this level 1. Level 2 would make you think where the water you interact with comes from and where it goes and sending it on its path again with limited exposure to your soaps, kitchen oils, pills and detergents. Level 3 is still to be defined.
A culture of water appreciation
Water touches our lives every day, yet it often goes unnoticed in our busy routines. How do we move into a culture of water appreciation in those daily interactions?
We are encouraging individuals to consciously observe and share their personal water moments. We are speaking to the artist in you who enjoys a painting depicting a water story or coming across water metaphors when reading a book.
As Goethe says, “Art is the mediator of the unspeakable”.
And with water being a source of inspiration, pictures, paintings, poems can share a common understanding of the value water has for us.
I am interested to know what water means to people and how it intersects with their lives.
These shared moments provide an opportunity to collectively appreciate the beauty, serenity, and significance of water as an integral part of our daily existence.
As important as they are, the nature of water is not just about its physical and chemical properties and our technical advancements in treating and preparing it. It’s about the crucial relationship living beings have with water. The existence of water in a place defines its landscape, ecology and its environment. It defines the evolution of human societies and cultures.
I have a vision of healthy people in healthy watersheds.
How do we make a lifestyle of water appreciation the norm?