Why learn to swim when I can walk on water?

Am I a water bug dancing on the surface tension?
What’s in the dark waters below?
An iceberg for your thoughts
Can I summon the courage to dive?
To explore the murky waters of choice and challenge
To test my imagined strength and talent
Why can’t I be a lotus plant?
Thriving in and into the water
Turning muck into radiant blooms
Am I just a superficial insect?
That bugs me
How’s the water?
Never touch the stuff
I am a water skipper with a free spirit
No time to see my reflection in the glassy mirror
Gliding enviably across the pond so fast
Not even scratching the surface
How can I be so dry and all wet?
The exhilaration seems more than enough
Why learn to swim when I can walk on water?

John E. Kobara 2016

I was on a Zoom call and a new colleague asked me to read this poem I wrote years ago. He dug it out of my blog pile. I was honored to share it. I think a lot about the metaphor of water and how life is like navigating the sea. Are we going with the flow? Or fighting the currents of conformity? The bluster of the prevailing winds of popularity. And why are we afraid of the deep when that is where the waters are calmest capacious and  most curious? As was said in the Little Prince: 
If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

The old fish asked the two young fish–How’s the water?” And the two young fish looked at each other and said, “What’s water?”

Know someone that could benefit from this information?
Share this post!​

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Every week I send out a list of 10 things I think are worth sharing — new art, writing, and interesting links straight to your inbox.

No spam. No fees. No Advertising. Unsubscribe whenever you want.


Weekly Ass Kicker

A healthy dose of provocative quotes, ideas, and recommendations to help us lead a more authentic, compassionate, and meaningful life.

Free of fees, ads, and spam