Is there anything more beautiful than a vessel of brimming water, where one more drop would break the surface tension? When my husband and I were married 24 years ago, we received a lovely ceramic dish. It was oversized, with deep sides and a black glaze shot through with streaks of color. It hung on our dining room wall for years until I decided to repurpose it into a water feature on our deck. 


It was a perfect marriage of art and water.  


I love how it reflects the sky and sunlight; how the surface comes to life during a rainstorm or a light breeze; and the sense of peace it exudes. Even the occasional yellow jacket or wasp that pauses to drink seem part of the ambiance.


Of course, there is frequent maintenance required to keep it in top form: filling it with fresh water due to evaporation and (ahem) dog slobbers; scrubbing out any algae that forms on the bottom. If I neglect it for more than a couple days, it goes from exquisite to ick.


I’m reminded of the phrase “filling the well,” which, in the writing world means taking time to nourish one’s soul, which in turn nourishes creativity. This could be anything, from taking a trip to reading a favorite book to learning a new skill.  It is especially important when faced with creative stagnation.


For me, reading books with stellar writing, cooking for friends, gardening, hiking, and catching up on home projects fills my well. When I’ve taken time to do this—to really nurture myself and my creativity, I find myself brimming; reflecting the sky again. And when a new idea drops in and breaks the surface tension, I happily overflow.




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