Were Niagara but a cataract of sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it? Why did the poor poet of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving two handfuls of silver, deliberate whether to buy him a coat, which he sadly needed, or invest his money in a pedestrian trip to Rockaway Beach? Why is almost every robust healthy boy with a robust healthy soul in him, at some time or other crazy to go the sea? Why upon your first voyage as a passenger, did you yourself feel such a mystical vibration, when first told that you and your ship were now out of sight of land? Why did the old Persians hold the sea holy? Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity, and make him the brother of Jove? Surely all this is not without meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.
Two points about this passage from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. First, if you’re like me and automatically avoid reading anything in quotes or italics, go back and read it, I promise it’s worthwhile. And second, don’t get the impression that I’ve read all of Moby Dick. I haven’t. I wish I could say that I have, though, because it seems like a smart people book. Nonetheless, this particular passage (from the very first chapter), is so good and true and perfect for the start of a blog post.
Ever since I can remember I’ve loved water. The emotions felt when I think of the essential ingredient to life cannot be put into words. I just love it so much. The weightlessness experienced when swimming and floating. The cold, smooth feeling against my skin. The quietness. The undiscovered, incomprehensable, underwater world. Every single thing about water, salty or fresh, cold or warm, frozen or flowing, is completely breathtaking.
“Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14