What is Water – David Foster Wallace

Every now and again a speech hits a chord with society and it reverberates from one end of the social spectrum to the other. This is definitely the case with the late David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement speech for Kenyon College. The speech has been broadcast in a million different forms; book, radio, sermons, and now its been put out as a short video. I’ve included it above.

“What is Water” is a truly great speech that should make everyone stop and consider the minute moments and truly appreciate each and every second we are given. I recently had an epic 8 hour conversation with two wonderful Dutch gals on a flight from Amsterdam that began with one of them saying, “I look at all these people – and I wonder, what is the point? What is it all about?”  The conversation ranged from the Big Bang, to Death, to Life.  We found ourselves returning over and over again to sin and our own desperate longings for acceptance and love.  Restoration and even forgiveness.  It was one for the memory books.  If the two of you are reading this – thanks for the chat!  It was really fantastic.

Over all though, I think this is the point of DFW’s speech… when was the last time you considered the water? The obvious things that surround you but you haven’t really considered.  This video is a fantastic adaptation of his speech.  This video adaptation takes on a very “Reality Bites” busting perspective.  Or possibly even a “Life is Beautiful” spin, from a materialistic point of view.  Regardless, its a fantastic video – can’t stop watching it.  May even sketch some of the scenes, it that good.

So, take a moment out… and consider life. Consider the point. And ask the questions that really need to be asked. Like, “What is water?”

what is the water - sketch

what is the water – sketch

what is the water

what is the water


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