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  • Writer's pictureOlga Kaleta

Reflections on Water

I am a body of water.

60% of my body consists of water.

Sometimes I’m the lake, sometimes I’m the ocean (but I am always a river.)


All my best childhood memories are from being at the lake. No place has ever felt so familiar. Only the eyes of a child can traverse the place in such a way. To absorb every detail and all the magic it palpitates with. I knew it all- every bit of the shore, the surrounding woods, the cemetery and every single island, even if some were only as big as a single footprint.

There were a bunch of us. Feral children.

We kept busy building eco houses out of discarded tree branches, organising snail races, making moss carpets and digging earthworms out of the ground.

Deep in the woods we would summon ghosts and super heroes. With the forks gaffer taped to my fists, I was the wolverine.

The place was endless but I knew it by heart. How was it possible for finity and infinity to coexist like that? Nowadays this idea is laughable but back then it was intrinsic to all beings.

The memories of the lake bring me comfort, balance and grounding .The lake offers me an indestructible sense of self. When I’m at the lake. I know exactly who I am


I feel the ripples of anxiety far far away. I woke up feeling motion sick. The storm is coming. Is it stress? Stomach ulcer? Diabetes? Cancer? I often wonder if I was dying whether I would still feel anxious about living?


Today I am an ocean...There’s a storm coming (somewhere beyond the horizon)... part of me is preparing for a battle but the rest of me feels like it’s drifting… I’m in all many places…. in every droplet, in every wave, every whirlwind, every bit of foam washing on the shoreline. I wish I was in one place only at any one time. I wish I was nothing…


I was 15 years old when I witnessed the sea for the first time. It was magnificent. It was the first time I had truly fallen in love. I remember the feeling, calm, but very alive, just like the sea itself. It seemed as if it was breathing for the entire universe. It certainly was breathing for me. Every crash of the wave against the shore was a whisper of passion:

don't you ever stand still, don’t tie your roots to one place, don’t resist the change and the struggle it might bring.


It was around the same time I met my first lover.

He was just visiting. Spending summer holidays in the tower blocks. I mean who ever does that? Well...that summer, HE did!

He was the most beautiful boy I have ever seen. He was 19. Four years older than me.

His shoulder length hair was so black and slick. His lips; so plump and juicy. I was transfixed by them.

I remember our first interaction. We were with a large group of mates, sat in the park getting stoned and drunk on lager. I couldn’t stop staring at him. I had my shades on and strategically kept my head turned away from him ever so slightly. I thought I was invincible. Suddenly he looked straight into my eyes and said: “ Could you take your shades off coz I can’t tell whether you’re looking at me or not. I have a feeling that you are.” If I was standing up, no doubt my knees would have given in under me.

We spent the entire summer together. One time I got really drunk and he held my hair back when I puked. That was the moment I decided he was going to be the one.

We did it the night before he left, at the bottom bunk bed in his aunt’s flat, whilst she was asleep in the room next door. This was the last time I saw him.

It was 5 am by the time he walked me home. My curfew was at 10 pm. I was hoping my mother wouldn’t hear the key turning in the lock. She did. “ Only sluts come home at this hour”- she said, and went back to bed.



Relentlessly reliable ocean.

My life long lover.

A counsellor.

You are vast,

You are beautiful,

And you are powerful.

You might look peaceful when you’re washing over my feet in unfailing rhythm but I’m not fooled.

A part of you is battling a storm somewhere beyond the horizon.

Part of you soaks into the sand but the rest of you retrieve back to the core.

Part of you claims refuge, part of you is rushing back in with aid.



Sometimes I’m the lake, sometimes I’m the ocean but I am always a river.


There’s nothing more soothing than sitting on a river bank. Dipping your toes in anticipation of a full on plunge. 1,2,3 and all in. Your body is freezing. For a split second it feels like every cell in your body has been pierced by thousands of little daggers. For a split second, you die.

You die, only to return feeling more alive than ever before. Your connection to the source has been restored.

The glistening of the sun trying to sneak through the leaves. The collapsed trunk of a tree that fell in love with the river so much, it no longer wished to be part of the earth. The leaves plummeting into the water yearning for adventure. The pebbles with all its textures and the grass settled between the bed and the bank… You are the river and everything contained in the moment.

You are as intensely at the source of the river as you are at its mouth. And you are in every part that stretches in between them.

You are undertaking the journey and you are the journey.

You are the sum of your experiences. Those that you had, and those you’re about to have.

You are striving towards the output but you’re still connected to the source from which you came from.

You are always where you ought to be. There is never any other way.

Today you are a river…

There’s no rush...just be.

You are always a river.

There’s no rush. Just be...

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