“The call of water demands a total offering, an inner offering. Water needs an inhabitant. It summons like a fatherland.” Gaston Bachelard
I have a patient friend with a swimming pool, and she encouraged me to give swimming another try, so a few days ago, I donned my old black bathing suit and went over to her house. The water was cool, and I wriggled my way into my daughter’s wet suit, then lowered myself into the shallow part of the pool. I was a large and awkward terrestrial mammal in an alien element. The water sparkled with little rainbows and ripples and I was tripped out by its beauty, but I could never even bring myself to lower my face into it, so in truth, I’ve regressed since my last attempt a few years ago. At that time, I was able to push off from the side and propel myself in the water, kicking, to the other side. (The width of the pool, not the length, but still…) It could be that my post-surgical imbalance has rendered me more timid, and maybe this will pass, but at the moment, I am having difficulty believing that I will ever achieve swimming. But I did enjoy the gentle embrace of the liquid, and my friend declared that that making peace with the water in this way is a fine first step. We’ll leave it at that for now.