This Is Water

A weird question came to mind the other day when we were eating brunch at Dolly’s Cafe: Are you indoors or outdoors when you are underground?  Cole brought up the point that it really depends on whether or not you have a door to your underground abode.  From there, we went on to question which side of the door really is outdoors.  When you think about it, the in-side of the door is just the out-side of the other side of the door.  Make sense?

I was watching the movie Avatar last night, and I couldn’t help but pause and think about something that Jake Sully says in reference to the bizarre experience he is having as an avatar driver.  He says that “everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world, and in here is the dream”.

Yet another example of a similar thought is perfectly illustrated by David Foster Wallace in a commencement speech he once gave:

“There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, ‘What the hell is water?'”

A very important question that all of these musings raise is whether or not we are aware of “the water”.  Just as the two young fish swim along day in and day out, we busily go about life with our hopes and dreams and frustrations, blindly accepting that this is what life is.  The irony, however, is that the thing we seek most has been here the whole time.  Life is not somewhere out there, life is here and now.

Just about every weekend, most people at one time or another think to themselves “dang … I have to go back to the real world on Monday”.  But who’s to say which world is more real.  Maybe we’re just so busy working that we constantly fail to experience the real world.  Just a little water for thought …

If you have not heard David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech, I urge you to watch this video!

Life and Matt



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