“In the event you flip your again to the blues and deny your dependence on them,” Ellen Meloy wrote in her timeless meditation on water as a portal to transcendence, “you may lose your home on this planet, your actions would turn out to be small, your soul disengaged.”
There may be greater than poetic fact in her phrases — there may be additionally a scientific truth about what makes our planet a world. When the Voyager took its epochal pictures of Earth from the sting of the Photo voltaic System and Carl Sagan noticed suspended in a sunbeam a “pale blue dot,” he positioned that scientific truth on the coronary heart of his well-known prose poem of cosmic perspective. “That’s house. That’s us,” he wrote. “On it everybody you like, everybody you already know, everybody you ever heard of, each human being who ever was, lived out their lives.”
And people lives, each single one in every of them, yours and mine and the firefly’s, are of the blue world. Eons after we rose from the primordial ocean, water programs by way of us, comprising the overwhelming majority of our our bodies, composing your complete symphony of aliveness with its miniature oceans walled inside every silent cell.
That silent symphony comes alive within the beautiful illustrated poem Nearly Nothing, but Every thing: A E book about Water (public library) by Japanese poet Hiroshi Osada, artist Ryōji Arai, and translator David Boyd — the trio behind the delicate and wondrous Each Coloration of Gentle.
From its delicately painted pages, which this display illustration drains of splendor, water springs everlasting but endlessly mutable.
As father and baby embark on a riverine journey of their slender pink boat, haloed by their wide-brimmed solar hats, we see them — the big solar and the small solar — encounter water, “the mom of us all,” in its varied guises: altering form and shade, flowing “like tears” and raining down “like falling stars,” cascading over waterfalls and coursing alongside rivers, giving form and substance to every part we all know as life.
It has no shade,
however will be any shade.
It has no form
however can take any form
You may contact it, however you can’t maintain it.
Even should you slice into it, it received’t be minimize.
It might probably slip by way of your fingers, prefer it’s nothing in any respect.
However life could be unthinkable with out it.
Solely oxygen and hydrogen, easy as will be.
However nothing means extra to life as we all know it.
Complement Nearly Nothing, but Every thing — a worthy belated addition to the loveliest kids’s books of 2021 — with the Scottish mountaineer and poet Nan Shepherd on the may and thriller of water, Olivia Laing on life, loss, and the knowledge of rivers, and Bruce Lee on the philosophy behind his water metaphor for resilience.
Illustrations courtesy of Enchanted Lion Books; pictures by Maria Popova