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Dihydrogen Monoxide - A Matter of Life and Death.

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09 Oct 2017 03:35 #1 by ARLewis
ARLewis ► Dihydrogen Monoxide - A Matter of Life and Death.
Dihydrogen Monoxide - A Matter of Life and Death.

No, this is not a chemistry class. No, we aren’t talking about a dangerous chemical. But yes, this is just about the most abundant element in existence, either periodically or alchemically speaking. The very planet we live on is so abundant with it that from outer space it still appears blue, for now. We cannot live without this substance but yet it can kill just as easily. If that all wasn’t scary enough, it can exist in all three of the primal forms at once, as a solid, a liquid, and a gas. As a matter of fact, I’m willing to bet a large sum of money, that I don’t really have, that you have had contact with Dihydrogen Monoxide within the last 24 hours. (alright, that’s a trick statement...for the human body is already 75% this material).

Dihydrogen Monoxide is also known as Water. Water is also known as the “primal liquid” as it is the purest form of any fluid substance. Every living thing needs a quantity of this element to live. The body needs replenishment of this magical substance each and every day so that it can continue to function. Water, like air, when clean at least, is transparent and in liquid form constitutes the primal material of the world’s streams, lakes, and oceans. But it also exists in gaseous form as mist and vapor and as a solid in ice and glaciers. All of these different forms do not preclude the fact that it is essential to all life. Life comes from it, life is born from it, and life requires it.

Water can also take away that very life. In quantities too large to be contained, water can take away life’s ability to process the other other elements needed in order to survive. Unless one has gills, which I’m not certain can happen, alchemically speaking, one cannot breathe while encompassed by water. For those with gills, if one has too little water, one cannot take in enough oxygen to breathe. Floods, falls, or sudden risings of this life giving element can actually take away the very life that it gives.

Given its power over life and death, the power of Water cannot be denied, especially by either Fire or Earth. Fire is the great agent of change, that which can destroy or consume, or even spark life to blossom. Water, however, can destroy fire. While fire can heat up water and turn it to gas, fire cannot exist at all if water overwhelms it. Earth, by its very nature is stoic and strong. It can even force water into shapes that it would not normally take. However, given time, even Earth falls to Water. Water can eventually wear away the strongest stone and rocks, or at the very least, work it’s way around, over, and through if not utterly destroy. Air is a different story. Water can’t seem to truly overcome air, as air is a part of water, however, neither can air truly destroy water. It can freeze water into ice, but never can it truly force it away.

Alchemically speaking, water is a conduit. It is the primary medium in which mixing and change can occur. Certainly, fire can change the composition of a material as it burns off some parts, but without water as the body of the element of change, certain transmutations cannot even occur. None of the elements after all, even Earth, are ever truly stagnant. Water is the greatest example of this.

Life cannot exist without the Primal Liquid. But that very life giving substance can take it away just as easily. It has a solid form only when cold or when cradled by earth. But yet it can wear away solids with eons of persistence. Water is both the most abundant and also the most versatile substance in existence. Never take it for granted.


“Imagine trying to live in a world dominated by dihydrogen oxide, a compound that has no taste or smell and is so variable in its properties that it is generally benign but at other times swiftly lethal. Depending on its state, it can scald you or freeze you. In the presence of certain organic molecules it can form carbonic acids so nasty that they can strip the leaves from trees and eat the faces off statuary. In bulk, when agitated, it can strike with a fury that no human edifice could withstand. Even for those who have learned to live with it, it is an often murderous substance. We call it water.” ― Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

“If gold has been prized because it is the most inert element, changeless and incorruptible, water is prized for the opposite reason -- its fluidity, mobility, changeability that make it a necessity and a metaphor for life itself. To value gold over water is to value economy over ecology, that which can be locked up over that which connects all things.”
― Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics

“Water is the most versatile of all elements. It isn't afraid to burn in fire or fade into the sky, it doesn't hesitate to shatter against sharp rocks in rainfall or drown into the dark shroud of the earth. It exists beyond all beginnings and ends. On the surface nothing will shift, but deep in underground silence, water will hide and with soft fingers coax a new channel for itself, until stone gives in and slowly settles around the secret space.
Death is water's close companion, and neither of them can be separated from us, for we are made of the versatility of water and the closeness of death. Water doesn't belong to us, be we belong to water: when it has passed through our fingers and pores and bodies, nothing separates us from earth.”
― Emmi Itäranta, Memory of Water

.“Water is the driving force in nature.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

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