The Water, by Alan Watts

“Ever since I can remember anything at all, the light, the smell, the sound, and motion of the sea have been pure magic. Even the mere intimation of its presence–IMG_5717.JPG

gulls flying a little way inland, the quality of light in the sky beyond hills which screen it from view, the lowing of foghorns in the night.

If ever I have to get away from it all, and in the words of the Chinese poet “wash all the wrongs of the life from my pores,” there is simply nothing better than to climb out onto a rock, and sit for hours with nothing in sight but sea and sky.IMG_5243

Although the rhythm of the waves beats a kind of time, it is not clock or calendar time. It has no urgency.IMG_5364

It happens to be timeless time.IMG_4716
I know that I am listening to the rhythm which has been just the same for millions of years, and it takes me out of a world of relentlessly ticking clocks.IMG_5213

Clocks for some reason or other always seem to be marching, and, as with armies, marching is never to anything but doom. But in the motion of waves,  there is no marching rhythm. IMG_8288.JPGIMG_5216

It harmonizes with our very breathing. It does not count our days. Its pulse is not in the stingy spirt of measuring, of marking out how much will remains.IMG_5410

It is the breathing of eternity, like the God Brahma of Indian mythology, inhaling and exhaling, manifesting and dissolving in worlds, forever. IMG_4635

As a mere conception this might sound appallingly monotonous, until you come to listen to the breaking and washing of waves.IMG_4714

Perhaps it is the quality of the light, especially early in the morning and towards evening, when the distinction between sky and water becomes uncertain, when the whole of space becomes opalescent in a sort of pearly luminous great, and when the rising or setting moon is straw yellow.


In this light all the rambling mess of sheds and junkyards is magical, blessed with the patterns of masts and ropes an boats at anchor. It puts me in mind of landfills a long way off, and all the voyages one has dreamed of.IMG_6764

Thus I have come to live right on the edge of the water… IMG_5228

This is the… ocean. Sand, flying spray, pebbles and shells, driftwood, sparkling water, space incredibly luminous with cloudbanks along horizons underlying skies into which one’s imagination can reach without end…”

Alan Watts



Thank you, Alan Watts, for capturing in beautiful words, the feelings and dreamlike imagery of the sea! <3

I like how said it might seem like it would be “appallingly monotonous” until you listen, because it really is more like a meditation, the perfect mindfulness, that brings you into tune with the world. That brings calm and peace, and lowers blood pressure and soothes your mind and soul, and is perhaps the best therapy. 🙂IMG_2739.JPG

Going down to the sea after work, in scrubs, to cool my feet and calm my soul.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And as my dear Mother said, “The Bering Sea was the perfect place for Dave to propose to you There was already a love affair with the Sea.” 🙂

sunset waves





“Smell the sea, feel the sky!” ~Van MorrisonIMG_2770









6 thoughts on “The Water, by Alan Watts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge