I have come to see all living beings as water-beings
by Marianne A Kinzer
We are children of nature. We cannot exist independently. Water illustrates our reliance on nature in an especially comprehensive way. In my studies of water I have come to see all living beings as water-beings. We cannot come into existence without water, and we cannot survive without it.
I am interested in what we as humans have in common with each other, other beings and the environment. How can we understand on an experiential level that we humans are part of nature? I found key answers to this quest in water. The ways our bodies are built and the landscape is shaped can be described as patterns of flow. This flow has to be kept in constant motion. Fluids go through metamorphoses, and constantly exchange. Basic patterns of flow are, meandering, branching, braiding, weaving and spiraling. We can see them when looking at water.
Our dependence on water illustrates beautifully that we are not apart from nature. Cultures from antiquity to today have been built near waterways or bodies of freshwater, because we need it to drink, grow vegetables and grains, and raise farm-animals. In fact, we need water for just about anything we produce. This is a list of freshwater use in accelerating order: households, industry, agriculture.
Our physical bodies develop in the watery realm of the uterus. Throughout our lives we participate in a constant exchange of fluids. We cannot do anything–not even think–without lubrication, the intake of freshwater and related nurturing fluids. We are connected to each other and to our environment through the exchange of fluids. Water makes live possible. This is true for plants, animals and humans alike. If we want to survive we must assure that our water supplies are plentiful, clean and healthy. Looking at water we realize: We have to preserve our environment for our own survival.
Most ancient cultures knew about the importance of water, and worshiped it in various ways.
Water informs our well-being not only through the intake of freshwater, but we feel comforted, healed, or even blessed by taking a bath. Christians baptize their children. Muslims wash themselves in ritualized ways before entering a mosque. Hindus bathe in sacred rivers. Books have been written about the culture of bathing, physical and spiritual cleansing, and healing based on specialty waters.
Water is the sacred juice where we are born, and the juice that keeps us alive.
– About the Artist: Marianne A. Kinzer has worked as a visual artist for more than 20 years. She grew up in Germany, received her basic artistic education there, and completed her education in studio arts by taking art classes in the United States. She also studied with accomplished artists and part-time, at the University of Fine Arts in Berlin, and at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She taught art classes at the Oak Park Art League, IL between 2003 and 2008, and has won several art prizes at juried shows at the same institution. She has shown her work in galleries in Germany, in Turkey (where I lived from 1996 – 2000), and the United States (where she live since 2000). For more information about her, go to http://www.marianneakinzer.com/