If approximately 70% of the adult human body is water, then I wonder how much is required to lubricate the imagination?
I wonder how much liquid is necessary to allow neurons to glide into unexpected constellations, sparking new thoughts, like particles colliding in a nebula, creating chain reactions and eventually, stars.
Science probably can’t tell us, except old-fashionedly, through Maslow (whose heirarchy of needs somehow seems to bend effectively to whichever evolutionary point anyone should wish to make (I can’t speak for the suitability of points being made (even this one))). If water is present, everything else can follow, all the way up the triangle to the tip of self-actualisation, if you can see the point.
When water is lacking? Who knows.
It’s a common battle-cry of the healthy – “Make sure you stay hydrated” – as well as a standard for parents and anyone advising someone who’s ill (“Keep your fluids up!”). We are a watery species, and of the percentage of our bodies, an approximate 2/3 of that is within our very cells, helping them to stay functional, stay capable, stay up!
The effect of water within the cells and vessels of our brains is (presumably) no different to anywhere else. The most obvious way a lack of water affects our imagination is to transfer any focus on it, to the more immediate necessity of adding liquid and maintaining the status quo. Conversely, drink too much water, and your cells can swell and break down; with not enough room to continue expanding inside the skull, the swelling of brain cells is particularly dangerous.
A cursory search suggests that little to no research has been done into specific effects on imagination or creative output (such a study probably not taking precedence in any scientific budgetary discussion…likely for good reason).
Hydrated or not, my mind is suffering a drought.
I could write dusty sentences of the barren plains populating my inner landscape. I could wax lyrical about the parched ground and cracked desiccation surrounding my inner eye. I could bore you half to death about the absolute, complete and utter lack of the tiniest drop of life or deliquescence in the catchment of my creativity.
I know. I am nothing if not a very determined contradiction in terms.
The fact remains that I am that saddest of creatures – a writer without a thing to write. Perhaps not literally, but in terms of the forward and self-sustaining motion of a juicy and well-lubricated creative brain, everything has dried up and gone crispy.
In life, I am a fan of sunshine. Blue skies and fluffy white clouds are my absolute favourite, along with whatever level of baking heat accompanies such a delightful upper atmosphere. Hydration is all well and good, as long as it isn’t pouring on my head, and the people who know me best will tell you truly, there is no sadder person than a rained-on Lizzi*. Right now, though, I can’t tell you what I’d give for a little bit of an internal, imagnative sprinkle!
I’m not asking for a deluge, or for the need to build an ark for the occupants of my (previously highly populated) inner world. Just enough to get a bit of a trickle going, somewhere. Some kind of trinkling miniature waterway to whet the edges of my mind and turn them to a productiveish sort of a muddy soup, where something might grow.
Additionally (and if it’s not too much to ask), I wouldn’t mind a bit of a point, whilst we’re at it – a reasonable sort of a purpose for writing, after all, other than shouting into the wind (onscreen) and giving you the pleasure*** of learning the distant bounds of my dry spell.
Some people write books, and they write their blogs to support and promote the books, or as a way of developing the content of the books, or to engage with the people who buy and enjoy the books, and want to know more about the authors. [Favourites here, and here, and here, and here]
Some people write to decompress, and whilst I admire this thoroughly, my life (thankfully) seems a little sparse in the ‘Ooh, this is worth writing about!’ department, and is functioning much more at a ‘Can’t even think of a decent Facebook status’ level.
Some people write as a platform for their good cause, which is wonderful (depending on the cause), and a very connecty, community-generative endeavour, but I’ve done that, lost the community, lost most of my connections, and quite honestly lost the point. Gratitude is a great attitude, and one I advise everyone to live by, just less vociferously, these days.
This person writes in a void of purpose, in an absence of point, and without ever seeming to give up entirely or properly take up the reins. This person writes, quite likely, mostly to herself, and even when speaking in the third person (a lapse, I assure you), cannot imbue her words with any further function than that of taking up space.
Which brings us back to stars, in a manner of speaking. And which, in their infancy, are thought to produce water.
*figuratively speaking, within the bounds of this very weather-specific context**.
**conversely, I do love a good thunderstorm, and get all whooped up and hyperactive on the inside.
***highly subjective, I know, but I’m adopting a positive mindset.
[Final FYI, the artwork in my image is produced by the WONDERFUL TJ Lubrano, whose whimsical, fantastical creations you can see on her instagram.]