“Thalassa kluzei panta t’anthropon kaka”
Euripedes, from the play “Medea”
So says the Greek lettering on a building in Tenby, South Wales.
“The sea washes away all men’s ills” is its translation and is part of the town’s emblem.
The building where the Greek letters are inscribed is a magnificent white Georgian house built into the cliff face. The house was once a bathing house for the wealthy of the town, who probably didn’t feel as though it was appropriate to swim in the sea below.
It’s a pity that its glamorous past wasn’t maintained because it would certainly hold a major attraction for the town. Standing above this place you can imagine what it must have been like to relax in the calmer waters of a manufactured pool and look down at the turbulence of the sea as it crashed against the foundations of the building.
The sea is a powerful force but whether it’s capable of washing away all the ills of men is another matter. However, in poetry, art, philosophy and even within religions, water is a significant element that features highly in our thoughts and engenders some very strong feelings.
Some of our most creative thoughts come from times when we are cleansing our bodies in the shower, where the force of the water carries away not only the physical dirtiness but enables us to think clearly and rationalise thoughts that previously appear unfathomable.
To sit in a bath and embrace the emptiness and clarity of the water that surrounds you is liberating. To sit on a cliff top and see the power of the sea and how it has shaped the very land where you sit is a humbling experience.
Every civilisation has chosen to celebrate and pay a certain amount of deference to water, and indeed the other elements, but it is the calming power and purposefulness of water that resonates today.
Water, the sea, a flowing river, a shower, a photograph of a droplet of rain – they all ease the mind. We all wash our bodies daily, how often do we wash our minds too? How frequently do we sit back and look at the majesty of this fluidity and allow our minds to drift in and out of the watery flow?
Today, we would like to share some of our watery photographs with a few words and phrases that might enable our readers to do just that.
“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” Lao Tzu
“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came” – John F Kennedy
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love; let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls” – Khalil Gibran
“In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes; so with the present” – Leonardo da Vinci
“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water” – WH Auden
“I feel most at home in the water. I disappear. That’s where I belong” – Michael Phelps
“To think, to feel, to imagine. That’s how the sea eases my mind now.”
A world of dew
And within every dewdrop
A world of struggle
“It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things” – Nicholas Sparks
“Always be like the water. Float in times of pain or dance like waves along the wind which touches the surface” – Santosh Kalwar