jan 26/SWIM

1.5 miles
ywca pool
outdoor temp: 14 degrees

Swim! I wouldn’t have minded running in the cold today. It’s sunny and bright. But I’m trying to swim at least once a week. Partly because I love swimming, partly because it feels good after a few hard runs on the rough paths. Today’s swim was wonderful. Only one other person in the pool. The sun was streaming in the big windows and making the whole pool floor dance with shadows.

10 Things I Noticed

  1. the woman next to me was wearing a swim cap that looked like it was from open swim. I wanted to ask her, but we were never stopped at the same time
  2. she was in a black suit — I think it was a tri suit. She swam breaststroke and freestyle and also ran in the deep end, her legs pedaling under the water
  3. there was something big and white on the pool floor, right on the part that slants down — what was it? I couldn’t tell*
  4. after the woman next to me left, I was alone in the pool for most of the time
  5. shadows on the pool floor, 1: faint, from the trees outside, flickering gently
  6. shadows on the pool floor, 2: a sharp, long cylinder of darkness — the lane line
  7. shadows on the pool floor, 3: the sun brightened and more dancing shadows with a long strip of light
  8. shadows on the pool floor, 4: in the lane next to me, a small ball of light — the opposite of a shadow, glowing. In the shallow end of the pool. I could see it from the far end after finishing my flip turn
  9. colors noticed: orange (of course), blue, a little green, yellow (maybe?) near the door to the locker room
  10. not always, but sometimes, I noticed the small bubbles my hands made as they pierced the water

*the white thing on the bottom was very distracting. What is it? I kept looking down, trying to study it, but with my bad eyes, I didn’t have a chance. It was almost the size of my fist. I thought about swimming down and picking it up. Gross! I decided one of the kids on the Otter’s swim team would probably pick it up during practice this afternoon.

The only one in the pool, nearly submerged for 45 minutes, I felt alone and not alone:

Alone and Not Alone/ Carl Sandburg

There must be a place
a room and a sanctuary
set apart for silence
for shadows and roses
holding aware in walls
the sea and its secrets
gong clamor gone still
in a long deep sea-wash
aware always of gongs
vanishing before shadows
of roses repeating themes
of ferns standing still
till wind blows over them:
great hunger may bring these
into one little room
set apart for silence

I found this poem last week and have been wondering when to post it. Today was the day. I like Carl Sandburg and his space for shadows, his sea and its secrets, his one little room set apart for silence!