The Arrogance of White Caps

In the summer of 2001, ten years after my father died, I lost another dear friend. That night I walked by the East River at Hell Gate, and noticed how the turbulence was building as the tide was rushing up the river. In the middle of the river were large, billowing white caps; while off to the side — near the shore — the water was browner and slowly eddied.

At that moment I had an epiphany, which I have been struggling to truly understand ever since. I saw the arrogance of the white caps: believing that they were important, as they certainly were visible from the shore. And I saw the humility of the slower, shallower water that no one really notices. In both cases, the waves lasted only seconds, before disappearing into the larger stream.

And I saw what is meant by eternal life. Each of us is, after all, 99% water.

Now all I have to do is grasp that that is what will happen to me — I am just a wave that will disappear in an instant — and that it’s all right. The river remains and I will travel with it.


[Note: to view Myotai Sensei’s “water” site, go to]

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