Berlin, Germany

When I think of surface tension, I’m usually thinking of bugs skipping across water. It’s the attraction between molecules called cohesive forces, but I’ve begun to notice it everywhere. I walked into a room full of people the other day, and there it was. I tensed up, not knowing who was there or how I would fit in. I took a seat at an empty table that then filled with people I didn’t know, making me feel even more uncomfortable. After a few good mornings and introductions, the surface gave way to the individual, and expectations gave way to the realities that we were all feeling much the same. Waking up in the morning has surface tension, maybe a resistance, but once I get up and the day gets moving, I always slip into it. There’s tension moving to a new neighborhood, the first day of a new job, stepping on a jet-plane, getting in an Uber, and the first bite of a mystery dumpling. There’s even surface tension when I sit down to meditate, and all I’m doing is sitting in the moment. But if I apply a liberal application of patience, cohesive forces begin to relax, and I can slide right on in.