Molecule by molecule, drop by drop, the rain falls to the earth. The plants draw it into them, breaking it down into atoms, releasing energy and the very oxygen we breathe… And we exhale water back into the air and it begins again. Light to water to power to…
I was thinking this morning about the internet, and the information stream crossing it. I was looking for ideas to spark my blog this morning, and all I could think of was the comparison someone once made to ‘drinking from a firehose’ when it comes to tapping the internet for information.
Water, when you slide your toes in on a warm summer day, is gently cooling. Water from a great height has all the impact of cement as you land on it. Water in droplets splashes. Water in a million drops becomes a deluge. The gentle mist rising from the hills after an an afternoon shower in the summer, looking like wisps of veils becomes the choking fog that blinds drivers and claims lives lost to lack of vision. That rivulet could in time carve the Grand Canyon.
Bits of information slide past my eyes, gathering weight as I accumulate them. Retaining them is the problem, keeping them from sliding right through my mental filter. The brain has mechanisms to protect itself from the billions of bits of information it encounters everyday. Most of those bits slide right on through, not adding to the weight of memory. It’s only when we make them sticky, somehow: the humor of how the word zwitterion sounds to me, the importance of my professor’s voice saying ‘this will be on the exam’, the sleepy sound of my baby nursing, the crunch of leaves underfoot and the smell of fall.
Memories accumulate like water, carving our mental landscapes into deep pools that reflect little of what lies beneath, or rushing torrents that refuse to allow us to sleep at night, drowning the mind in their ceaseless murmur. We dogpaddle in the flow at first, when we are young, and later, find that much of what we thought we knew has flowed on. Water under the bridge. Stand on the bridge looking down at the quivering reflection and wonder, what do I know? When did I know it? And can I survive the impact with my memories from a great height?