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Water water everywhere

Jul 16,2013
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We are pulling out of Circular Quay.


We’re on a ferry, surrounded by water. My 19-month-old nephew, Edison, loves water.

‘Water. Water water water water.’

Reversing manoeuvres complete, the ferry’s engines roar up to power, and from our bench on the stern we see a froth of wake surge out behind us.

‘Wowww,’ says Edison.

Today we’re going to the zoo. My brother’s in town, and we’re going to see the animals. Giraffes, elephants, frogs, birds, seals, penguins.

File 15688

We stare deeply into the eyes of a tiger not two metres away through the glass, who watches us with what seems like endless patience and intelligence. We watch a mother gorilla swing her baby up onto her back, as beside me Edison rides on my brother’s shoulders.

The thing Edison loves the most, though, is water. Water. The chimpanzees are nowhere to be seen, but there is an excellent creek running through their enclosure. The seals are fast and eerily human, but what they swim in is entirely more fascinating.

Under this grate in the path, right here beneath our feet, something we would have missed entirely if it hadn’t been pointed out to us: water.

I find myself projecting onto my nephew as I have been projecting onto the animals all day. Is it the sound of the word he loves? Is it the shape of the word in his mouth, so new to language? Is it that he can see what we have become blasé about, which is that water is the most basic, the most fundamental aspect of all life on this planet? Or does he just genuinely love water?

I’m not quite sure why I’m telling you all this. It’s tempting to draw writerly conclusions, of course, in line with what I’ve been saying here all month. Look for the thing that you really care about; write about what moves you; don’t be afraid to be passionate in your expression.

But maybe it just is what it is.


Jul 22,2013

He is! (I say as a completely unbiased outsider). Also, I  totally agree re. over-interpretation, and my favourite example of that is William Carlos William's wheelbarrow poem. It gets studied and studied and overthought, but in the end, the beauty of the poem (for me) is that there's nothing to 'get'. All that it's about is right there:

so much depends



a red wheel



glazed with rain



beside the white


Jul 21,2013

Edison sounds adorable. ^^ The ending of the post kind of reminds me of English and literature. You know, when you're analysing a book and the teacher is finding all this deep, meaningful symbolism to everything. For example I saw this picture that gave an example of when the book says "The curtains were blue". The English teacher will say "The curtains represent his immense depression and his lack of will to carry on" and I'm sitting there thinking "Oh, I just thought the author meant that the curtains were blue..." :P

Jul 18,2013

Oh, indeed! "...a box is open to a million possibilities". Just like the blank screen, or the empty notebook. Brilliant.

Jul 16,2013

I know this is a bit random, but seeing the word 'nephew', and being ecstatic in general, GUESS WHAT MY COUSIN HAD A BABY I HAVE A NIECE FROM JAPAN NOWWWW! And, and, some time in the next week (God willing), I'm going to have a nephew from Dubai, too x) Oh my God. I just love babies.

Maybe one day I'll be taking my little nieces and nephews to the zoo at marvelling at the water too :') Very cute post. Kinda reminds me of when you give a little kid a present, like a toy, but they're more interested in the actual box, and the fact remains that a box is open to a million possibilities (especially if you can fit in it) whereas a hunk of plastic, while it can be great fun for a while, always seems specific to a certain kind of a game, whatever it may be.

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