minister of the reservoir and the water gate

I enjoy drawing this bladder. I use a fine point graphite pencil for all the detail before I start to paint it.


The urinary bladder is a hollow organ that is both muscular and elastic. It collects waste fluid (urine) excreted by the kidneys. This one belongs to a male and includes the seminal vesicles, vas deferens and prostate.

A neighbor (specialist) informs me, after seeing the work, while it may seem the urethra travels through the prostate that in fact, it does not. The prostate, she describes, is like a donut with a hole at its center, should it be removed nothing is left in that space. Consequently the bladder lip and the urethra would need connecting. Apparently the prostate provides a channel the urethra does not travel through, only the various body fluids do. This sounds efficient and natural, like a river. (…the interesting conversations my drawings bring me…)

In Chinese Medicine the bladder, seen as part of an energetic system, is called the Minister of the Reservoir. And not to leave the prostate out, it comes from the Greek – prostates – and means the one who stands before or the guardian. I include this information because I like the words. And for the record, the prostate is not the protector of the bladder.

Because urine is made in the kidneys, I decide to pair the bladder with one and begin to sketch out a kidney and consider a few of their functions: they help balance the quantity (can I also say quality) of liquid in the body, they affect blood pressure, they are a filtering system.  And I discover they also generate Vitamin D.


Postscript: As timing has it …
Kat can’t known what I am thinking about as I leave the studio to keep an appointment with her for an acupuncture treatment (a first). Within minutes of entering her office she says she’ll be balancing my Kidney Yin. I don’t know exactly what this means but you can imagine my curiosity piques.  She explains briefly kidney yin associates to water and hydration. I am hoping to stay present and ask questions, but it doesn’t happen.

The subtle work Kat provides allows me to relax  so much, I don’t feel (or see) the acupuncture needles. She moves around the table working with cupping, vibration, light, heat, and more. Early on I ask questions but can’t take note of it all and eventually just give in. One thing I do hold is the sound, or maybe the sound holds me. Before I know it the experience is over and I am back in my studio wondering even more about kidneys and now kidney yin.

The bladder is the yang water element and the kidney is yin. I read kidney yin is known as the body’s water gate.  I read the space between the 2 kidneys is the gate of life.

When I research the meridians they are known as something slightly different. Kidney Meridian (flows upward) and is the Root of LIfe. The Bladder Meridian is the Guardian of Peace, and is the most complex of the meridians.

A thanks to → Kat for the timing – magic.
Oh…and my next drawing is connected to this experience as well.

1 thought on “minister of the reservoir and the water gate

  1. Pingback: no woman is an island | Monica Aissa Martinez

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.