Shoot & Quote: Intangible Water

Waves on a shore: Be Water text

I recently came across an idea by a fellow blogger that I immediately adored as it combines two of my great loves: literature and photography. You can head over to Ese’s Voice to see for yourself but the gist of it is this, in Ese’s own words,

My challenge is my passion – a photo you have taken and a quote, attributed to its author, and of course related to your image. Every week on Sunday I will post a new prompt.


Simple right? So here’s my contribution to this week’s theme: Intangible

Waves on a shore: Be Water text


Those of you who read Monday’s post ‘Black Flowers Blossom’ will know I had a difficult time at the weekend enduring a rapid spiral of intense emotional experience, just one of the ways my Borderline Personality Disorder manifests itself. Following a restorative walk to the lake (where I took this picture) I was in a more balanced frame of mind and while musing over the healing effect Nature, and particularly water seems to have on me, the following quote from Bruce Lee came to mind. It seemed apt advice for meeting the challenges of living with a mental illness, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”


I’ve spent a long time looking for answers and it seems all I needed to know was there in the intangible element I’m naturally drawn to. If you’re looking for me I’ll be reading more of Bruce’s thoughts – he has a lot to say about the lessons water can teach us.


Author’s note, June 2014: Since the time of writing I’ve been re-diagnosed with Aspergers and Bipolar II. I no longer meet the criteria for BPD and given the existing cases of Aspergers and bipolar in my direct family I have to admit this re-diagnosis seems a more accurate explanation for my symptoms. Oh, the beauty of hindsight… 


By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. Water is such a healing element, Aisha. Even from six weeks of age, my son has sat in his stroller near the water and the soothing effect on him is immense. For me, it’s my wind-down place, where I can think and reflect. Fantastic photo by the way. Get yourself on Instagram and share with the world! Hope today is a better day.

    1. Thanks Russell. It’s true, water has a kind of unlocking effect on my brain – setting aside the restorative effect of a visit to the lake, washing-up or showering are when I get my best ideas!

  2. Beautiful take on the prompt – so full of intangible, yet so vital serenity.
    Thank you for being a part of the challenge – I hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

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