Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jade & Free

J noticed it first. "I think getting out of the water made you sad."

It isn't enough to enjoy swimming in the sea. The ending of such enjoyment does not lead to sadness, which is a rare emotion to surface, so often with other feelings stealing its name. A small enigma. The next time I left the ocean I paid attention.

It's the tangible, palpable, measurable return of gravity that presses down on my heart. It's experiencing the return of the complete heaviness of my body, including the weakness in my muscles and the dense weight of my bones. Once again it requires effort to remain upright, effort to merely walk, effort to lift my arms from my side, effort to hold up my head, and all the threads of my movement, once again, sigh.

It's a raising of awareness of the corporeal prison I will never escape, and the nature of the long-standing frivolous agonies it contains. Not, I must clarify, a raising of pain. Simply a raising of awareness and direct attention.

This reminder shadows the experience of being in the water. Of feeling almost weightless, and all my movements, grand or fine, seem so easy. There is no heaviness in my body. I imagine I can almost be capable of grace.

It's jade. Varying shades of. When it is clouded this jade is deep, rich and dark, an incredible colour to gaze into. If blue sky is looking down then the jade is bright and strong, and if the sun touches the water it is slashed with bands of pale gold and it is almost turquoise. To immerse yourself in such wealth and purity of colour can draw out a gasp slowly. With grace.

I can contort myself freely. Treading water requires no energy or effort or even conscious thought, and so I can hang suspended and free indefinitely. I can climb up waves three times my height and only be breathless from squealing. Spiraling, diving, twisting and spinning. I will strain myself. It doesn't take much. A few seconds of vigorous swimming, or fighting my ridiculous natural buoyancy to touch the sea floor. Even then, the effort required is something different. Rather than straining against the limits of my body, it feels as though I'm straining against the water. The battle line is external, rather than internal.

That is what the water gives me. A moment of respite.

Getting out of the water does indeed make me sad. 

1 comment:

  1. No matter what you're writing, it always has that lovely poetic feel to it, Tessa.