Floating ink for your soul
The great affinity I have with the Water element is now known to all my friends. It is no coincidence that the city of Venice has become my favorite place!
“Water represents the source of life and has been a recognized element since the dawn of philosophy” – I was thinking about all this when, after months of forced lock down, I found myself alone immersed in a thermal pool at the end of a day of endless meetings.
The great affinity I have with the Water element
is now known to all my friends
In a hotel with a team for a three-day workshop, my muscles tense and very stressed by all day discussions, I didn’t feel like going to the pool. However, I took advantage of a moment when the thermal pool was deserted and decided to give it a try. “If I feel tired, I can opt for returning in my room!” – I said to myself – “And then it will be an opportunity to wear the new and not yet worn swimming suit”.
The experience was instead totally regenerating, the slight warmth of the water and the light waves of the whirlpool erased all negative thoughts in a moment.I abandoned my arms and legs to the rhythm of the fluid in which I was immersed and I felt lightness and serenity as I had not done for months.
The silence and the absence of other hotel guests did the rest. In this idyllic dimension, the outside world slowly began to lose importance until it disappeared completely.
If it hadn’t been for the alarm I had set on my phone (strategically left in my bag poolside), I wouldn’t have gone out! But I was there for work and the afternoon meeting was looming.”
So regenerated, but also a bit sad for the forced abandonment of my little corner of paradise, I congratulated myself for that little bit of control anxiety that had prompted me to program the smart phone timer. And that actually saved me from the risk of a scary delay!”
Following this experience, I decided to include the thermal bath as a periodic routine of my well-being.
Obviously, due to the restrictions imposed again since September, it was no longer possible to repeat the pleasant experience, but fate made me discover new ways of connecting with the Water element even more engaging!
Fate made me discover
ew ways of connecting with the Water element
For this I have to thank my sister who involved me in one of her meditation lessons. Thus I discovered – almost by chance – the practice of Suminagashi, whose name means “floating ink”.
On a Saturday morning I found myself first experiencing a taste of the ancient Tea Ceremony and then placed in front of: a small basin about 1 cm high and filled with water, two brushes, a bowl with a contrast liquid, a parallelepiped black and a stone. Just looking at the tools I was enthusiastic: I remembered the calligraphy lessons at university with pleasure and the satisfaction of drawing with quality tools.
The Suminagashi process is even more intriguing! The black parallelepiped is the ink that, in order to be used, must be rubbed against the stone, immersed in a few drops of water. Intention and thoughts are concentrated in the preparation of the mixture, which must be dark enough to obtain a good final effect.
Subsequently, emotions and feelings are released by placing the ink-soaked brush on the surface of the water with the right pressure to allow it to float. If the spirit is not in the right balance, the ink falls to the bottom and the drawing disappears.
The use of the fan, a small blade of grass or our breath to generate intentional perturbations of this harmony is the culmination of the connection between pictorial technique and meditation.
Finally, when the surface of the tray is now completely decorated, you need to change the water and start over but – surprise! – it is possible to stop the moment: placing on the surface of the absorbent paper that captures the floating shapes and fixes them forever!
P.S. On this page you can see the graphic reworkings of the drawings that I made personally thanks to the precious teachings of the talented teacher Graziella Migot who introduced me to the Suminagashi technique.
If you liked this article I suggest you also read >>> Mrs Lagoon’s portraits.