Monday, February 6, 2012

Why I Don’t Swim!

The floods came slowly that year.

And we played a masochistic game of ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf’.
We knew that they were coming but when we turned our back
all was still and we ignored the creeping waters.

There had been floods before and lives lost but each new wave brought with it a fresh sense of urgency fresh fear
and a fresh frozen will.

I would often spend the days leading up to the drownings, watching the CALIFORNIA BOYS
and the CALIFORNIA BABES surf the swelling blue ocean

with such a sense of

abandonment.

I was jealous that they had found their Zen amongst the chaos of the water
or maybe they were just acting.




I had always been a decent swimmer.

Some of my favourite early memories are composed of swimming in the indoor
heated Maidevale Pools.
I remember being intoxicated with the chlorine.

Amongst my memorabilia are certificates of achievements from those lessons:
25 meters was a long way for me back then worthy of recognition.

However

my earliest memories of the sea were not so pleasant.

A summer holiday to Rottnest Island On the first day of beachside frivolities
my fair young skin was pounded by the sun
for the rest of the holiday I was imprisoned in our cabin

not being able to sit or lie down for the tennis ball sized
blisters all along my back.

I felt like the Elephant Man.


I have decided that swimming pools make a mockery of the sea.

They capture it. Contain its chaos. Water within becomes poisoned with the regret of being captured in the first place.

However

I have learnt to respect the sea and I garner wisdom from the grace of its eternal movements.

But I never swim within knowing that a rage lies beneath
a fraternal rage
for all its imprisoned comrades.

Waiting for the opportune moment to rise and devour us all.

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