always adhered to the idea that God is time, or at least that His
spirit is. Perhaps this idea was even of my own manufacture, but now I
don't remember. In any case, I always thought that if the Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the water, the water was bound to reflect it.
Hence my sentiment for water, for its folds, wrinkles, and ripples, and –
as I am a Northerner – for its grayness. I simply think that water is
the image of time, and every New Year's Eve, in somewhat pagan fashion, I
try to find myself near water, preferably near a sea or an ocean, to
watch the emergence of a new helping, a new cupful of time from it. I am
not looking for a naked maiden riding on a shell; I am looking for
either a cloud or the crest of a wave hitting the shore at midnight.
That, to me, is time coming out of water, and I stare at the lace-like
pattern it puts on the shore, not with a gypsy-like knowing, but with
tenderness and with gratitude."
From Joseph Brodsky's "Watermark," a short book on Venice.