Leaning Into Our Amazing, Sometimes Abusive Relationship with Water
The mother molecule is elusive, essential and just weird.
Water is a curious thing. It is a source of life, but few things terrify more than being overwhelmed by the stuff and drowning. It makes surfaces more filthy, provides a breeding ground for disease and yet is also our go-to substance for cleaning away filth and germs.
For humans there are two kinds of water: 1. The predictable, controlled, mostly indoor kind that reliably flows from a variety of taps and faucets on-demand, and; 2. The more primal and unpredictable form in its natural element — picture a whitewater rapid on a mountain creek, a wave breaking offshore or a torrential downpour starting and stopping seemingly at will and in defiance of countless meteorologists and computer models.
Sometimes we try to bridge the two modes by recreating and harnessing this wild force in controlled environments — water parks with slides and wave pools or channeling huge volumes through locks, dams and turbines.
There’s something innate in this impulse. Water is one of our earliest playthings …