?

Log in

No account? Create an account
   Journal    Friends    Archive    Profile    Memories
  Last FM - free online radio, charts, music community | Questionable Content, comedy webcomic | Wondermark, An Illustrated Jocularity | Hanzi Smatter, dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture | Chez Pim, The lovely Pim's delicious food blog |

Zen and the art of not sinking - Scarlet Letters

Jan. 9th, 2008 09:09 pm Zen and the art of not sinking

I have never really been able to swim. I do have a badge declaring my ability to thrash out one width of a very small pool without dying, and even feel some (misplaced) pride in this achievement. But I've never really enjoyed it or relaxed into it.

This was never much of an issue growing up. My only swimming options were the school pool, more chlorine than water, and the sludgy brown oh-so-cold sea of Barry beach, which we’d dare each other to wade into. It was when I went travelling and sat on the shore trying not to sulk as others ducked and dived and clowned around in warm, clear blue water… that was when it occurred to me that I might be missing out. When I tried to join in half-heartedly, to splash around in the shallows, I realised that this went beyond incompetence: being in the water scared me.

And so it was that I found myself on the bus home one evening last year, breathing deeply and holding back tears at the thought of the ordeal before me: my first swimming lesson in thirteen years. I still vividly remember what that meant in school: forty girls in one tiny pool, the non-swimmers herded down one end out of harm's way and dreading the 'race' at the end of the lesson, invariably won by the team that didn't end up with me. Terrified the whole time, I struggled against the water in rigid panic, and went nowhere.

I can see all this now because I've seen a little of how it should be. I'm still pretty far from being able to swim, but I can at least see that I am supposed to relax, to float and glide and above all to enjoy, not to kick and thrash and hyperventilate. There are rare moments where I get it, and achieve more by trying less. Who knows, perhaps I’ll discover my hidden, laid-back consciousness? Om...

(Just being able to enjoy the water would do, mind.)

Current Mood: pensiveom...
Current Music: Anaal Nathrakh - Hell is Empty...

1 comment - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry

Comments:

From:nynaeve
Date:February 1st, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
(Link)
Terrified the whole time, I struggled against the water in rigid panic, and went nowhere.... I'm still pretty far from being able to swim, but I can at least see that I am supposed to relax, to float and glide and above all to enjoy, not to kick and thrash and hyperventilate.

What an excellent metaphor for life. And good on you for going back to lessons last year.

Glad to see you posting again, even if I fail to comment in a timely manner! As for Martin and mundania, just remember that it certainly won't last forever. You'll either move on to something better or finally snap and take Martin out in a savage fork rampage. Perhaps both. ;)