Rolling Around Again
Hear Me Roar

Flowing . . . Like Water


I follow Maggie Smith (the poet, not the actress) on Instagram. Starting last year, and then into a good portion of this year, she shared thoughts about "moving forward" after a traumatic experience in her life. Her near-daily "snippets" were always insightful and usually quite universal . . . so much so that they are now being published in a new book, Moving Forward.

Anyway, here is one of Maggie Smith's "snippets" I saved for myself last year:


When I started thinking about my word for the year - flow - way back in January, the image that came to mind . . . was flowing water. A river. With bends and turns and rapids and falls and log jams and rocks. To me, a river is the perfect way to think about . . . flow. And Maggie Smith's "snippet" addresses why. Because water just . . . keeps moving. It finds a way. Even when it encounters barriers. 

I think it's easy for us to think about Maggie's "snippet" . . . being the Story of 2020; about it being extra-relevant to this particular year and time.
Y'know. Lots of barriers.
(So. Many. Barriers.)

But. . . isn't that true of ANY year? ANY time?

If 2020 wasn't being lived out against the backdrop of the pandemic, there would still be plenty of barriers impeding the flow of my imaginary river . . . for me; for any of us. Some of the barriers would be the same barriers I'm encountering anyway (because life . . . ). Some of the barriers have completely disappeared because of the pandemic (fewer events on my calendar, for example), easing the flow of water somewhat. And, of course, there are some new log jams we couldn't have seen coming (but then, that's true in any year).

I guess what I'm getting at is . . . it's not just the year.
It's life. 

My lessons this month:

Be like water, my friend.
Keep moving past the barriers.
Around. Over. Under.
Don't stop.
Keep moving.

(And I'm going to take it a bit further here. When water flows around a barrier? Well. That's where the changes happen.) (Stay tuned.)


Be sure to visit Honoré, where she is hosting a link-up for others sharing their one-little-word experiences today.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I like this post Kym and you nailed what I have been thinking about, but hadn't put words to. This is life. It's not just 2020 and not just the pandemic. Things happen every single year to impede us on what we think our journey/life should be. It's always something! and every year we move through it. Finding different courses/paths. I like the Maggie Smith snippet.


Funny you should use the river metaphor. I'm currently ensconced in a book with a river theme: Once Upon a River my Maggie Setterfield (author of The Thirteenth Tale) WaPo review:

Although I love reading to become better informed and to experience things differently than what is normal for me, this is just one of those "Once upon a time...." books. The answer to "Tell me a story, please" and be transported away from this current place and time.


I think you've pointed out something important for all of us, Kym...the collective tendency to blame any Mess on "Grr....2020"! When, of course, a lot of those messes would happen anyway. And others, actually, are being dodged as a RESULT of This Year. A refreshing perspective...and one that, I think, opens up some objectivity and less of a victim mentality. Your imagery of flow while not only thinking about how water moves in a stream makes me think of how dogs move on a trail. My dogs can no longer hike, but I used to love following their steps...the instinctive wisdom in navigating challenges.
Staying tuned! Always love hearing your insight.


A while ago Justin sent me a link to a song called "Be Like Water" by RZA. It's a relatively mellow rap song, inspired by a Bruce Lee quote. I can't say I've ever thought of Bruce Lee as an influence before but it's interesting to see how many places and in how many ways "be like water" shows up!


Oh, yes! I love the visual of flowing around the many barriers 2020 has thrown at us. Water, which is so formless, can gradually wear away something as formidable as a rock. In the meantime, we can flow, never stopping, around, under, and over. Love it!


Kym, you are so wise. You're right -- this year has had its challenges, but what year doesn't? I suppose the only difference this year is that the challenges have been shared by so many people. I think "be like water" is a good mantra to have at any time when you're faced with barriers.


Doing my best to keep flowing! Your thought process is so right. We always have big 'ole bumps in the road (or rocks in the river) and we make our way around them...somehow. xo


You are spot on with your reflection on 2020. It's not "the year" that's caused all of this mess, it's just . . . life. We've got to (as Dale likes to say) go with the flow. Part of that is accepting what we can't change (those damn barriers) and then adapting so that we can flow around them.


Thank you for all this food for thought! You are indeed so wise! XO

kathy b

Great thoughts. I wish I could GO with the FLOW . Half the time I am the one making the road more difficult.


Oh this is good stuff, Kym, thank you! (gosh, I'm so glad I made time this morning to catch up with all the OLW updates ... it's like a master class in connection and honesty ... and filling up my running-on-empty tank!)

The comments to this entry are closed.