Water and Words: Ebbing and Flowing


By: Marilyn L. Davis


An Introduction to Water


Water and Words: Ebbing and Flowing marilyn l davis two drops of ink  

“In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of existence.” ~Kahlil Gibran

I fought the idea of recovery without knowing its name and clashed with all the people who told me to quit using. I knew that it was an insidious cycle, one that I loathed; however, I did not understand that there were ways to help me break the cycle and learn to flow with life experiences.

In treatment, one of my doctors had multiple images of water on his office walls – still ponds, tranquil pools, raging oceans, and other examples of the power of water to flow where it had to in the most expedient manner possible.

Besides the wall reminders, he had a koi pond where he thought people could get in touch with their emotions in a natural setting. He commented that when we become like water, we stop trying to fit the circumstances into our way of thinking and flow, with the events offering no resistance but getting to the other side.

This water analogy helped me when I had conflicting thoughts and feelings about my recovery. It's the same with writing, and this lesson has helped me be more patient with the creative process. Click To Tweet


Water and Writing 


Sometimes two or three ideas are swimming in our minds, each good but fighting with each other for prominence. Then, there are other ideas coming together; only yesterday, they were percolating; bubbling in that yonder brook manner. 

We have various ideas in our heads and know there’s an article there, but it’s out of focus for now. I also know not to rush this process; the writing will come. I have to be patient, and I’m not a very patient person. But I am fantastic at distracting my impatient side.

Researching when I can’t find the words is what I call “Productive and Creative Procrastination,” and it works for me.

When I engage in productive and creative procrastination, I’ll continue with my source subject and see what great writers, artists, and others have to say. I want to share some of the excellent water quotes with you from some successful writers and other creative people. Perhaps they will inspire you, motivate you, or let you see the power of water and words.


Stephen King: Author


“. . . writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.”


Margaret Atwood: Author


“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall; it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing, in the end, can stand against it.

Water is patient. Water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember, you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

Rebecca Solnit: Author


“If gold has been prized because it is the most inert element, changeless and incorruptible, water is prized for the opposite reason- its fluidity, mobility, changeability that makes it a necessity and a metaphor for life itself.”


Ambedkar: Architect of the Indian Constitution


“Unlike a drop of water that loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man’s life is independent.

He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.”

Isak Dinesen: Author


“The cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears, or the sea.”


Frederico Chini: Author


“If the private life of the sea could ever be transposed onto paper, it would talk not about rivers or rain or glaciers or of molecules of oxygen and hydrogen, but of the millions of encounters its waters have shared with creatures of another nature.”

Barbara Kingsolver: Author


“Stop a minute, right where you are. Relax your shoulders, shake your head and spine like a dog shaking off the cold water. Tell that imperious voice in your head to be still.”

Morihei Ueshiba: founder of Aikido martial arts


“Study how water flows in a valley stream, smoothly and freely between the rocks. Also, learn from holy books and wise people. Everything – even mountains, rivers, plants, and trees – should be your teacher.”


Leonardo da Vinci: Inventor, artist, inventor


“Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation . . . even so, does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.”

Neal Shusterman: Author


“When you drop a pebble into a pond, ripples spread out, changing all the water in the pool. The ripples hit the shore and rebound, bumping into one another, breaking each other apart. In some small way, the pond is never the same again.”


Ernest Hemingway: Author


“If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-ninth of it being above water.”


Mark Twain: Author


“My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.”


Clarissa Pinkola Estes: Author


“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you burst into bloom.”

Robert Henri: Artist


“Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.”


C. JoyBell C: Author


“Anger is like flowing water; there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you let it flow. Hate is like stagnant water, anger that you denied yourself the freedom to feel, the freedom to flow, water that you gathered in one place and left to forget. Stagnant water becomes dirty, stinky, disease-ridden, poisonous, deadly; that is your hate. On flowing water travels little paper boats; paper boats of forgiveness. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow your waters to flow, along with all the paper boats of forgiveness. Be human.”


Fateheh Keshavarz: Professor of Persian Studies and Author


“…a small stream…sings a carefree song as it runs by your house. It is so non-threatening that you can sit by it, look at your reflection in the water, and even wash your hands in it. It is yours, your personal stream. Yet you know that it has originated in the sea and is on its way back to where it has come from. When passing by your house, however, it is yours. You can say it is a personal moment you have torn out of eternity to keep in your pocket for yourself.”


Roman Payne: Author


“. . . For when air cycles through the lungs and the body is busy at noble tasks, creativity flows like water in a stream: the artist creates, the writer writes.”


Alan Watts: Author


“Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web in the early morning covered with dewdrops. And every dewdrop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. In each reflected dewdrop, the reflections of all the other dew drops in that reflection. And so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the universe in an image.”


Mehmet Murat Ildan: Author


“Water is happy when it falls; water is happy when it rises! We call this as wisdom! Water enters the dark sewer grates with no fear; it travels everywhere; it learns some things from everything, and this is the secret of water’s wisdom!”


Grigoris Deoudis: Photographer


“The emotional states are liberated inside water; we calm down emotionally, we become more sensitive, we are able to “touch” deeper ourselves and other beings.

Empathy is echoing back to us, giving subtle vibrations from the realm of the senses. Find your water.”


Moving from Contemplation to Content


I took a break from finding quotes and images; there are just too many that I found inspirational. In the meantime, those words in my mind? They were blending and starting to form my next piece, for that is how productive and creative procrastination can provide you with inspiration and focus. 

I hope you try it and let me know your outcomes and what you’ve written.


Finding Your Inspiration: Water and Words


Which quote resonated with you? I’d appreciate a comment letting me know if a quote inspired you. As for the water, I’m a firm believer in bubble baths, and who knows, maybe I’ll be inspired to write another post.

At Two Drops of Ink, we understand that how something is said is just as important as what is said. We are taking submissions for the site. 

Please read the submission guides, and consider a guest blog on Two Drops of Ink.


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  1. “. . . writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.” I like the Stephen King one. I’m a big fan of his work. Also, I believe writing does contain magic. The magic to transport us to other worlds.

  2. My favorite quote is Roman Payne”s “. . . For when air cycles through the lungs and the body is busy at noble tasks, creativity flows like water in a stream: the artist creates, the writer writes.”

    Marilyn, I really enjoyed this blog. I’m taking Tribe Writers’ course and working up the courage to launch a blog. I’m perusing blogs of others to understand better how they look and work. What you’ve created is unique, beautiful and really helps one sweep out some old interior cobwebs. Love the insightful quotes and striking photos.

    You mention guest blogging and Jeff suggests same. I’m not sure what that means as I’m experiencing an intense learning curve on all the media nomenclature. Perhaps I’ll touch base with you about that down the line as I become more educated with all the flows of media : )

    • Hi, Terri. Thank you for commenting. I like that particular quote as well.

      Launching a blog is a daunting task, especially if you are doing it alone. I’d encourage you to just keep at it, though.

      Guest blogging is a simple way to help you get a following before you have your site up. For instance, we accept posts about anything literary – how to write better, a poem, memoir, some book reviews, and personal essays about creativity and writing. It’s part of my personal philosophy that how something is said is just as important as what is said, and making the site relatable for many readers is an essential aspect.

      For many people, a guest blog is entering the pool at the shallow end and can feel less intimidating.

      Here at Two Drops of Ink, we’ve made a commitment to reach out to other writers – new and seasoned, and give them a platform. When a guest blog is published, we all promote it through social media. Again, it’s part of our collaborate approach to the site. We all share in the creation of posts, promotion, and ultimately, the site is improved by these joint efforts.

      I would encourage you to submit to us. Several Intentional Bloggers have posted and been well-received. I’d welcome an opportunity to add you to our list of contributors.

  3. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but,
    I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some ideas for your
    blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way,
    great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

  4. Be a pebble. Do it little.
    “When you drop a pebble into a pond, ripples spread out, changing all the water in the pool. The ripples hit the shore and rebound, bumping into one another, breaking each other apart. In some small way, the pond is never the same again.”

    • Good morning, TJ; I like that comment. Thanks for reinforcing the message of the post.

  5. Thank you Marilyn – I can completely relate and Your water and words analogy is quite clever.

    “Water has no fear” resonates with me…having freedom to flow, what a gift.


    • Hi, Shannon; thank you for the comment. If we could all be as fluid as water, I would imagine that we would experience less stress. Resistance is futile sometimes – I tend to forget that. Again, thanks for commenting.

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