feb 16/SWIM

1.5 miles
ywca pool

A swim! The last time I swam was 10 days ago. How has it been that long? The water was the cloudiest I ever remember it being. Was it that cloudy, or was it my vision or my loose googles? Swam alone for 30 minutes, then my daughter joined me.

10 Things I Noticed

  1. the water was so cloudy I couldn’t see to the other end
  2. starting out, swimming just above the bottom, I heard some kicking noises and worried that I had picked a lane that someone was already swimming in (I hadn’t)
  3. something brown, looking suspiciously like a band-aide, was stuck to the floor as it sloped down to the deep bottom. It stared back at me every time I swam above it
  4. in the next lane, someone was swimming an exaggerated breast stroke, kicking their legs way out, taking up most of the lane, possibly stretching over into my lane. I was a little irritated, but more enchanted by the wide swing of their legs and their froggy look
  5. I could see a small circle of light in the far corner
  6. trying to look more closely at the band-aide, I noticed some other white things stuck to the sloped floor too. What were they?
  7. as I flipped at the wall and looked up at the ceiling from below the water, I noticed that at the wall closer to the windows the light was yellow, and at the wall that was farther, the light was a pinkish-orange
  8. my nose plug squeaked once — a high-pitched squeak
  9. in the next lane a swimmer waited at the wall. Right as I flipped then pushed off, he started swimming. Was he trying to race me? Probably not
  10. I don’t think I saw anything floating in the pool today

Another good swim. For reasons I can’t quite pinpoint, I was agitated before my swim. It took some time, but the swimming helped calm me down.

Today’s Linda Pastan poem reminds me of something I was just writing about for my week five lecture for my class: gnarled branches.

In the Orchard/ Linda Pastan

Why are these old, gnarled trees
so beautiful, while I am merely
old and gnarled?

If I had leaves, perhaps, or apples . . .
if I had bark instead
of this lined skin,

maybe the wind would wind itself
around my limbs
in its old sinuous dance.

I shall bite into an apple
and swallow the seeds.
I shall come back as a tree.

This idea of coming back as a tree also reminds me of a poem I found the other day on twitter by Czesław Miłosz:

Longing/ Czesław Miłosz

Not that I want to be a god or a hero.
Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone.