Watering Words


Excerpts of an ongoing exchange

Week 22. (2023) / Małgorzata
(Aplysia fasciata. Observing; two days after dancing with the memory and writing)

oddalam się
czarna suknia Aplysii faluje łagodnie wbrew nurtowi rzeki

łódź rozbija się na brzegu portu
z impetem odbiera ludziom życie
po raz kolejny jesteśmy świadkami katastrofy w moich snach
miłość jest formą katastrofy

nie wiem dlaczego płaczę
może wzrusza mnie śmierć oar, którą oglądam za zamkniętymi powiekami trzymamy się za ręce
po raz kolejny ocaleni
mimo mojego strachu i nieumiejętności przepowiadania przyszłości
z pewnością nie jestem Kasandrą
nie noszę kijka proroka ani kolorowych wstążek
faluję bezwładnie, z pozoru
zachowywanie spokoju odbiera energię
oślizgłe ciało Aplysii
niczym wodorost niczym motyl
czarny płaszcz trzepocze pod powierzchnią wody


Audio response by Kristina:



i’m swimming away
Aplysia’s black dress billows gently against the river’s flow

a boat crashes on the shore of the harbour impetuously takes people’s lives
once again we are witnessing a catastrophe in my dreams

love is a form of catastrophe

i don’t know why i’m crying
maybe i am moved by the deaths of the victims i watch behind closed eyelids we’re holding hands
once again saved
despite my fear and inability to read the future
i am certainly not Cassandra
i don’t carry the prophet’s stick or colored ribbons
i wave inertly, it seems
staying calm takes energy
Aplysia’s slimy body
like a seaweed like a buttery
a black mantle utters beneath the surface of water

Week 19. (2023) / Joanna
sok z pigwy [tańczę z pełną buzią, gdy w końcu muszę przełknąć zaczynam pisać]


Moja siostra rzeki nie widziała
od zeszłej wiosny zadomowiona
w bezpiecznym gnieździe
blisko lasu
znalazłam peryferia codzienności
pomiędzy tym co znam i nie
pamiętam soczystego mięsa
kiedy przychodzi lato
zrywa się do lotu w rodzinne strony
z daleka od domu
konsumuje wolniej
żywię się sokiem brzozy zebranym wczesną wiosną


quince juice [I dance with my mouth full, when I finally have to swallow I start to write]


My river sister did not see since last spring
settled in a secure nest near the forest

I found the peripheries of everyday life between what I know and what I don’t remember juicy meat
when summer comes

takes off to fly to family sites
away from home
consumes more slowly
I feed on birch sap collected in early spring

Physical response by Kristina:

First, get to know your body parts and their seasons.
Be very specific. Take some time to get to know both your thumbs, your ribcage, your shoulders, thighs… And familiarise yourself with the season they are currently in. How do you find out? Is the left side different from the right one? Then, make a connection – what is happening in between them: if one of your shoulders is in autumn and your calves are both in summer, how does this affect the rest of your body and any possible movement?

Week 17. (2023) / Kristina
source of water: wheelbarrow filled with water and plants to be put into the ground. I turn on the tap and wait for the water to fill the entire wheelbarrow. I manoeuver it across the gar- den. After planting I pour the water into the ground. Later, I investigate what my body has memori- sed of all this.

The container contains – contingencies. Crossing the space. Careful. A body full of care, full of contradictions. And coincidence. The letter C is a container as well. I can put things in there but they will leak out again. It is meant for things to pile up and then spill over its edges. O is a locked off room. I wonder about the secrets that were placed inside them, the many O‘s spoken and written… And all those C‘s! The seas of C‘s that are constantly flowing in all directions, spilling over into air, into the ground and taking new things in. How much do they weigh? Can my arms carry them? My body knows the shape of a C but not that of the sea. I try to figure it out. To find the figu- re. Among the waves. I find multiple. But cannot hold any of them. They are not to be contained. Both, the sea and the C know that. That you can‘t possess, you can‘t own the things within them. My body feels heavy and slippery. I try to figure that out as well. To find the figure within my body. Not how it composes itself on the outside and also not how it feels on the inside. But that what is inbetween. It is less of a shape and more of an event. Constantly rearranging itself. Taking things in and spilling over. Not to be contained only within itself.

Audio response by Małgorzata:

Week 15. (2023) / Joanna
source of water: the Odra River, section in Łany

I hear
I’m late
In slow looking
I don’t have any thoughts
To do lists; the garden; teeth; drainage; bathroom Probably sometimes
I cover beyond measure
Of an honest man
I hear
Again too late
Spring has come
Cranes; storks; swans
Swirls in muted colors with sharp edges
I always release it into the water

Visual response by Małgorzata

Week 9. (2023) / Kristina
source of water: enhydro agate – a rock or mineral formation with water trapped inside.
I have never seen one in the flesh. I imagine it.

Letter response by Małgorzata:
Read here

Week 2. (2023) / Małgorzata
Ocean, dotykam dłońmi mokrych skał 7 min, większość czasu z zamkniętymi oczami Nieokreślony czas pisania

Przyszedł do mnie kiedy tańczyłam. Nigdy wcześniej nie podszedł tak blisko.
Pełen gracji, o smukłej szyi. Nie bał się. Byłam w ruchu.

Podwodny mech. Miękki. Muskam go opuszkami palców.
Chciałabym pogładzić pióra ptaka.

Zanurzam dłoń w zebranej pomiędzy skałami wodzie.
Zdumiewa mnie jej ciepło.

Bezruch. Łagodność. Cała jestem mokra od nieustannej mżawki.

Szorstkość. Miękkość. Twardość skał.

Ze szczeliny wychyla się czarny krab.
Szeroko rozstawione oczy. Otwiera usta.

Zewsząd otacza mnie życie.

source of water: Ocean, I’m touching the wet rocks with my hands 7 min, most of the time with eyes closed Indefinite writing time

He came to me while I was dancing. He had never come so close before.
Full of grace, with a slender neck. He wasn’t afraid. I was moving.

Underwater moss. Soft. I stroke it with the tips of my fingers.
I would like to caress the bird’s feathers.

I immerse my hand in the water collected between the rocks.
I am astonished at its warmth.

Stillness. Gentleness. I’m soaking wet from the constant drizzle.

Roughness. Softness. Hardness of the rocks.

A black crab peeks out of the crack.
Wide-set eyes. He opens his mouth.

Life surrounds me

Audio response by Kristina:

Week 52. (2022) / Małgorzata
source of water: frozen water in a barrel

Banana puree
Empurre Rozpycham się w przestrzeni
Jak zawsze kłębią się pytania
Chyba się pospieszyłam drum drum drumming
Beczka z florydy wieczna zmarzlina
Jakie wydają dźwięki
Aseptyczne kwaśne oczy na zielonej trawie
Ślady w śniegu bruzdy niezagojone rany opuchlizna
Kolano łokieć połącz kropki
Jaki gwiazdozbiór utworzy twoje ciało
Uderzam w beczkę wypełnioną lodem
Jakie wydaje dźwięki
Dokładnie 11:11
Ja Cię kocham a Ty śpisz
Kevin sam w domu i te sprawy
Co ja robię tu kocham kocham
Wybieram nieracjonalnie
Produkty z florydy
I myśli niepoukładane
Na dnie zielonej zardzewiałej beczki
Lód zamarza zwiększa objętość pęka
Furkot skrzydeł
Mgła i dym

Banana puree
I’m barging through space
As always, questions abound
I guess I rushed drum drum drumming
A barrel from Florida permafrost
What sounds do they make
Aseptic acidified eyes on green grass
Ruts in the snow furrows unhealed wounds swelling
Knee elbow connect the dots
What constellation will your body form
I hit a barrel filled with ice
What sounds does it make
Exactly 11:11
I love you and you are sleeping
Kevin home alone and other stuff
What am I doing here   love love
I choose irrationally
Florida products
And unorganized thoughts
At the bottom of a green rusty barrel
As the ice freezes, the volume increases and it cracks
The flutter of wings
Fog and smoke

Visual response by Kristina

Week 51. (2022) / Joanna
source of water: The snow melting on my terrace

Dirty whiteness
Reverberation echoing memories
There is something nostalgic about it
Missing space between the shoulder blade and the ear
Is shimmering blue
My home seems to be getting smaller and smaller
Or maybe I ate too many cookies
Streamlined shapes lose their boundaries
There is something obvious in the presence of the past
I wish I could focus more on one thread
It may fall at any time

Physical response by Kristina:

Begin with a body-scan to feel your body in its entirety, with all its nooks, connections and internal movements. Then, focus on the space between your left and your right shoulder.
This space now starts to dissolve. Is it evaporating, melting or shedding? How is that affecting the rest of your body? And what is left behind eventually?

Now, there is something new appearing in that space – starting out as a small picture, seen from afar but becoming clearer and bigger: a strong river, emerging between your left and right shoulder. Does it stay inside the space, is it trapped there? Or does it flow out of you as well? How is that now affecting the rest of your body?

The river between your shoulders continues to flow, but now you realise that also the space between both of your wrists and elbows is starting to disappear. Is it a different sensation than before? What is left here and what is it that is appearing afterwards? What feelings and images are emerging with it and how does your body respond? Are the body-spaces and what is emerging in them somehow communicating with each other?

Repeat with different spaces between different body parts.

Week 45. (2022) / Małgorzata
source of water: Godalen Strand, Stavanger

jak to jest że można tęsknić za zimnem?
brakuje mi tego stanu, kiedy nikt nie każe mi być szczęśliwą
                                                 nie zawsze musi świecić słońce.
czasem szarość fiordu to właśnie to czego potrzebuję dla ukojenia.
w końcu znalazłam miejsce, w którym wzrok nie sięga budynków lecz przyrody.
obok mnie przepływa łódź, huczy silnik. gdy spojrzę za siebie widzę ogromną fabrykę; wzdłuż całego
wybrzeża kominy, rury; stolica ropy naftowej.

to, że nie mogę żyć z dala od wody już wiem. niektóre ciała zbudowane są z soli. niektóre relacje są jak reakcje
chemiczne. sód i potas. zanurzam się w wodzie. wybucha wulkan.
spotkanie. portal do innego wymiaru. opieram się o ścianę. może gdy będę stać tak wystarczająco długo to
skały otworzą się i przejdę na drugą stronę

opowiadam ci o hiper-soli, substancjach ekstremalnych. przyszłam tutaj z zamiarem, by popływać. zadziwia
mnie, że mam tak dużo szczęścia. gdziekolwiek się nie znajdę czeka na mnie piękno. nawet nie jest tak zimno
jak się spodziewałam. może rozgrzewa mnie wewnętrzny ogień –
ten z traktatu o kosmicznym ogniu.

how is it that you can long for the cold?
I miss this state when nobody tells me to be happy
                                        the sun does not always have to shine.
sometimes the gray of the fjord is just what I need for relief.
finally, I found a place where the eyesight reaches not buildings but nature.
a boat passes by me, an engine roars. when I look behind I see a huge factory; chimneys, pipes along the entire coast; oil capital.

that I can’t live far from water I know already. some bodies are made of salt. some relations are like chemical reactions. sodium and potassium. I’m immersing myself in water. a volcano erupts.
encounter. portal to another dimension. I am leaning against the wall. maybe when I stand that long enough the rocks will open and I’ll cross to the other side.

I am telling you about hypersalt, extreme substances. I came here with the intention to swim. it amazes me how lucky I am. wherever I go, beauty awaits me. it’s not even as cold as I expected. maybe my inner fire warms me –
the one from the treatise on cosmic fire.

Visual Response by Kristina

Week 43. (2022) / Małgorzata
source of water: Praia do Guincho

próbuję sobie przypomnieć
            czy już tu kiedyś tańczyłam
doskwierają mi tęsknoty
nakładają się jedna na drugą
              prawie nie mogę oddychać
nareszcie do moich nozdrzy dociera zapach oceanu

ktoś wmontował krzesło w skałę
       obiekty nienaturalne
       materiały hydrofobiczne
       geometryczne kształty
zakłócają równowagę

spoglądam w dół
łatwo byłoby spaść
                   gdybym tylko chciała

przedziwna niebieskość
        czy to mech         grzyb           czy sztuczny barwnik

wszyscy już sobie poszli.
            rybak zwinął wędkę
                   zostawił dla mnie miejsce
robi się ciemno i woda mnie dosięga
siedzę na hawajskiej chuście
tak bardzo za tobą tęsknię,
los się ze mnie naśmiewa
odliczam dni. 17.

ciemność. zakreślam łuk ramieniem
rozpędzone turkusowe morskie monstra gnają w moją stronę
rozbryzgują się u moich stóp
głaszczę ich puszyste grzywy.

I’m trying to remember
            have I danced here before?
multiplied longings are bothering me
             overlapping one another
             I can hardly breathe
the scent of the ocean finally reaches my nostrils

someone mounted a chair into the rock
               unnatural objects
               hydrophobic materials
               geometric shapes
disturb the balance

I glance down
it would be easy to fall
                    if I only wanted to

strange blueness
moss       fungus        or artificial dye

everyone is gone.
          the fisherman rolled up the fishing rod
                      left space for me
it’s getting dark and the water is raising
sitting on a Hawaiian headscarf
I miss you so much,
fate makes fun of me
I’m counting down the days. 17.

darkness. I draw a circle with my arm
speeding turquoise sea monsters are rushing towards me
splash at my feet
they soften,
I stroke their fluffy manes

Physical response by Kristina:

You begin by closely observing what is your body made of today: what material and what texture, weight and size. Take some time to find out. Maybe by touch, or movement or just by turning inwards and becoming aware. You then find yourself on a big rock, alongside the beach. The rock has been formed over centuries. Can you still feel these centuries, the time that has passend, when you touch and observe the surface of the rock? Do you feel stable on this rock or are you constantly trying to keep in balance? Upon closer inspection, you realise that one bodypart, one limb is actually inside the rock. As if the rock has grown over it – with help of the salt in the water, the weather, the time. How does the rock feel from the inside? How does it affect the rest of your body – the body that you have defined in the beginning? More and more of your body is merging with the rock. And now it is you that is shaping the stone, from the inside and the outside. What is its final shape? What is the final form and structure, size and weight of your body?

Week 41. (2022) / Kristina
source of water: dream about the ocean at night 

Finger an der Spiegelkante und
weit hinunter ein Augenblick
ich lehne mich nach vorne, vornüber, hinüber
das Wasser neben – gleichzeitig unter mir
Hand jetzt im Spiegel versunken
die Physik lehrt mich anderes
die Physik ist nicht das Meer
die Physik ist auch das Meer

Sanft die glatte Oberfläche
mein Körper hat die Größe eines einzelnen Wassermoleküls und aller Ozeane
mein Körper ist auch der Spiegel
ist gleichzeitig neben, unter, hinter mir

Fingers on the edge of the mirror and
deep down a moment
I lean forward, forth, across
the water next to – and at once below me
The hand has now sunken in the mirror
physics teaches otherwise
physics is not the sea
physics is also the sea

Soft the smooth surface
my body is the size of a single water molecule and all the oceans combined
at once
my body is also the mirror is at the same time next to and below and behind me

Physical response by Joanna:

Forbidden dance

For the next 30 minutes dance your forbidden dance. Be honest. Remember to include all forbidden movements, styles, emotions, words, jokes, associations, faces, gestures, sounds, … Embody everything that for whatever good taste/culture/the laws of physics/shame reasons should not be sunk in your dance. Have fun 😉

Week 36. (2022) / Małgorzata
source of water: 
krople wody na podłodze / water drops on the floor

wyschnięte krople
łzy których nigdy nie było
wylane bez powodu
     kładę dłonie na kolanach
              wygładzam różową sukienkę

         masz kilka wyjść
zatrzymać maszynę      wypaść      dotrwać do końca
                                                 kręci mi się w głowie

nie miałam czasu jechać na plażę
trzy wyschnięte krople
przypominają mi jak bardzo brakuje mi wody
         zanurzam dłonie we wspomnieniach
                zwilżam usta

                uczę się mówienia nie

a jednak
to było piękne
stałam się kimś innym
przebiegły mnie dreszcze
zmarznięte dłonie
i nagły zryw krwi w żyłach
rwący potok czerwonej wody
rozgrzewa moje tkanki
wibruję wewnątrz

nadeszła wiosna.
                                  (na początku jesieni)

dried up drops
tears that have existed
shed for no reason
          I put hands in my lap
                 smoothing the pink dress


        you have a few ways out
stop the machine       fall out        survive to the end
                                        my head’s spinning

I didn’t have time to go to the beach
three dried up drops
remind me of how much I miss water
          I dip my hands in memories
          wetting my lips

I’m learning to say no

and yet
it was beautiful
I have become someone else
I shivered
frozen hands
and a sudden spurt of blood in the veins
a rushing stream of red water
warms my tissues
I vibrate inside

spring has come.
                                (at the beginning of autumn)

Visual Response by Kristina

Week 34. (2022) / Kristina
source of water: compost

Aus den weichen Wänden quillt ein Ort
und in den Ort hinein fallen meine Hände
fallen in die sanften Krater, purpur Flüsse
Minen von Samt umschließen sie dort

Stunden dringen in die Poren
Wälder wachsen aus den Augen
aus den diesen in die jenen
Und am letzten Sommertag

entsteigt die alte Frau dem neuen Mantel

Out of soft walls oozes a place
and in the place there fall my hands
fall into soft kraters, purple rivers
velvet mines surround them there

Hours permeate the pores
forests grow out of the eyes
out of these and into those
and on summers final day

the old woman rises from her new coat

Week 27. (2022) / Joanna
source of water: Saliva

There and Back Again
reversed thinking
I’m going backwards forward going back
in my thoughts
what a sentimental time
What is July all about?
scapulae surprises burdock
How to figure it out
Why is blue not working at all
Endless lists letters
Priorities disappearing beyond the horizon.
I still believe in pirates

Auditory response by Kristina:

Week 22. (2022) / Joanna
source of water: water spilled from a watering can

Experiencing bubbles tiny droplets
in each direction simultaneously
can’t wait to feed you again
spill over in excesses
soar up in a violent wave
pour over from the river bed
musicality of drops
I inhabit the entire delta
reversed stream
I soak into
I rediscover my purpose
relentless focus
rhythms of the seasons
lightness of the splashes
Is this a season of finally
finding some of the answers
The last to know comes unexpected

Physical response by Kristina:

the body a puddle on the ground. a puddle that is now being moved back in its original container. moved in reverse. slowly the liquid that is all spread out is now gathering again, is being pulled together, pulled upwards and sidewards. all in reverse. until the body, the liquid from the ground, has found its way back in the container – its original habitat.

Week 16. (2022) / Kristina
source of water: 
lake that appeared in a dream

Das Tal liegt inmitten des Sees
der See ist im Sommer wie Winter
der See stützt sich auf die Erdsäulenschenkel
der See ist nicht rot, er ist alt

Das Alter fließt aus dem See in die Knochen
die Knochen sind Haus und sind Himmel
die Knochen machen die Erde weich
die Knochen sind nicht die Nacht, sind der Tag

Der Tag fliegt mit den Knochen ins Tal
das Tal ist auch damals und gestern
das Tal wächst aus der Taghimmelerde
das Tal ist nicht Tal, 
                                              es war See.


The valley lies amidst the lake
the lake is summer as winter
the lake leans onto the earthpillarthighs
the lake is not red, it is old

Age flows out of the lake into bones
the bones are house and are heaven
the bones soften the earth
the bones are not night, they are day

The day takes the bones and flies to the valley
the valley is also back then and yesterday
the valley grows out of the dayheavenearth
the valley is not valley,
                                            it was lake.

Visual response by Małgorzata

Week 10. (2022) / Małgorzata
source of water: thin streaks of foam on the seashore

smugi piany
wypełnione powietrzem

sunąc, tworzą obrazy
białe plamy
w pamięci
na ziemi
na piasku

nie ma muszli

widziałam jedną przed domem
musiałam upuścić ją wracając z plaży
kilka miesięcy temu
zanim stopniał śnieg

czy to już wiosna

moje ślady znikają tak szybko
pękają bąbelki piany
myśli rozpływają się w powietrzu

na chwilę
       jestem tu na chwilę

nie mam tradycji które mogłabym kultywować
jestem sama
dziwna wilgoć pod powiekami
ale to nie łzy

sny niedośnione
ciało nie-rozluźnione

dokąd prowadzą fioletowe smugi
grafitowe koryta
w kolorze rękawów mojej kurtki

z czy do oceanu
z zewnątrz czy do środka

nie zadawaj mi pytań skąd jestem i dokąd zmierzam
                                                                          quo vadis
jeszcze nie znalazłam swojego miejsca
nie pytaj do kiedy zostaję

czy nie możemy być, po prostu

nigdy nie sprawdzam prognozy pogody
i tak zawsze wszystko się zmienia

streaks of foam
filled with air

as they glide, they create pictures
white stains
in memory
on the ground
on the sand

there are no shells

I saw one in front of the house
I had to drop it on my way back from the beach
a few months ago
before the snow melted

is it spring already

my traces disappear so fast
bubbles burst
thoughts dissolve in the air

for a while
I’m here only for a while

I have no traditions to cultivate
I’m lonesome
strange wetness under the eyelids
but these are no tears

unrested dreams
body un-relaxed

where the purple streaks lead
graphite troughs
the same color as my jacket sleeves

from or to the ocean
from outside or inwards

don’t ask me where I’m from and where I’m going
                                                                           quo vadis
I haven’t found my place yet
do not ask how long am I staying

can’t we just be, merely

I never check the weather forecast
everything always changes anyway

Auditory response by Joanna:

Week 6. (2022) / Kristina
source of water: small brook at the side of a field

white cloaked sky and naked willow
wet gras land, moors and in between
time always finds its space and this shirt is getting too small for her now

yet the island hasn‘t lost its shape
its face still covered in dirt and maybe
I should lick it off

strings follow – a whole orchestra playing now
from around the well-laid table

I have no claim to their song


Physical response by Małgorzata:

Week 5. (2022) / Małgorzata
source of water: clumped piles of wet seaweed

memory of the island
the feet collapse into a structure of an undefined form

lubricious what they
hide in tangled pods?

I’m expecting meerkats mass of

treading on them
I can feel the mucousness of my internal organs

intestines again fluids in my
I can feel the mucousness of the articular cartilages

darkness and viscosity internal organs
do not like light

I read that witches heal in the
dark for the body is shocked
when its interior gets
exposed to the light

I tread the seaweed slippery and

my body is full of water
mucus and

Physical response by Joanna:

BMC based meditation
Let’s try to get into the mind of intestines. For help you can search for some images at: https://www.netterimages.com/large-intestine-structuremucosa-and-musculature-of-colonmu cosa-and-musculature-of-large-intestinestructure-of-colon-unlabeled-general-anatomy- frankh-netter-1396.html

Lay down comfortably and visualize them. Be precise. Let’s spend some time there. Breath into these organs. Try to expand them a little bit with breathing. Then hiss into them (inhale and then make a “ssss” sound directed into the organ). After a few repetitions change hissing into an open vowel. Try to roll from one side to another starting from watery dense transferring/leaking/flowing intestines. Introduce more movement. Your intestines can be squeezed by neighboring organs or can expand and roll through/on them. If we think about function of these organs and their application to emotions following themes come up: absorption; ability to assimilate what one has taken in; receiving what one needs; evaluating what’s valuable/not valuable; decision to let go of that which one has taken in but which has/has not been absorbed within the allotted time frame; preparation for elimination; final preparations in forming and discharging an outcome or resolution; letting go of that which is unsatisfactory or debilitating Pick up one of the above topics and move with them remaining still in the “intestinal mind”.

Week 1. (2022) / Joanna
source of water: clouds

slowly swims changing shapes
impossible to identify
what you see?
I wave slightly in out gathering sending
scream in the mountains
soft tummy
my salivary glands are working very intensively
rustling crackling of bamboos
a multitude of small leaves
I freeze motionless
I watch the saliva gentle rocking
penetration impregnation

Auditory response by Kristina:

Week 51. (2021) / Joanna
source of water: a glass of water

Saliva saliva dots sprinkles waves arches pam pam
something is shimmering at the edges
some colors fragments bubbling
with the floor I am also the same substance
I need a break
spinning I’m spinning spinning spinning spinning shavings fly dust dust dust
pollen sand
Today we’ve been talking about old people
adequate level of hydration
I drill I feel a little numb stiff found bricked up
I’m stuck still
I’m still standing
I feel great oh how wonderful


Visual response by Małgorzata:

Watering Words Project 2021-2023