Science tells us that we're made of something like 90% water. To think that I can be reduced to a glass of water & a small pile of commonplace minerals someone could sprinkle on their steak—me !—with all my problems, my grand ideas, & pairs of stockings. Considering this makes me feel like I mustn't be thirsty enough, like I mustn't be getting enough of something or other. I dont know what, not just water, though, but—what? I’m not getting enough of it to know for sure. That's the problem.
You hear some people saying that to think like this is wrong, that it’s reductive, but what’s the matter with thinking reductively? You are, after all, only shrinking the problem and isn't that the next best thing to a solution? Doesn't that make any problem easier to solve? I don't know about you, but I'll take a small problem over a big problem any day of the week. For that matter, I'll bet even the greatest men in history asked for a glass of water at least once in their life, or a gourd of water if we're talking about the ages before they had water glasses. What’s more, I'd bet dollars to donuts that even Einstein asked someone to pass him the salt every so often especially when it was located clear across the table...even Einstein! The theory of relativity would have been no use to him then. An arm is always an arms-length at the dinner table.
Let’s face it, if Einstein with his E=mc2 can be mainly a glass of water and a handful of cheap minerals, well, what more is there to say, but that it's no shame to think reductively; in fact, if we reduce things enough there's no shame in not thinking at all. What’s thinking, anyway, what’s so great about it? I mean, what’s the point of it in the end, it’s just a disturbance on all that water that you are, as if the minerals that you also are got all stirred up somehow, like someone threw them into a glass and shook them up a bit, like bicarbonate of soda, because they were feeling ill in the stomach.
What I’ve been wondering lately is how can we ever drown if we're made of so much water, or is that why we keep having to swallow saliva, so that we won't drown in our selves? Of course not, you say. Oh really, I answer, and how do you know that for sure? Have you stopped swallowing?
You can reduce these matters all you like, until you’re practically looking at them through an electron microscope and they won’t make any sense but sometimes I think, okay, maybe I'd like to be a glass of water someone adds some pigment to in order to paint something—oh I don’t know what, something. Not a barn or a cat or one of those stupid big-eyed little barefoot girls holding a bouquet, nothing hokey like that, but something else. Maybe something that looks like what a brain dipped in ink and smushed around on a piece of paper might look like, something that you could look at again and again and say 'I surely don’t know what the hell it’s supposed to be and I can't say I even like it, but there's just something about it that catches my eye.'