Like the way all things that carry you for a time release you to your own unrecognizable footpath, or open onto a beach where whole families of memories lie back on their towels, close their sand-dusted eyelids, and for a little while pretend to disappear under a both merciless and all-giving sun you’ve told yourself is a kind of warmth,
I think the part of swimming I really liked when I was a kid wasn’t swimming at all but diving and running and jumping off the edge of a pool or cliff into a soft landing that I could let carry me down and away from everybody for a time, while I leaned back and looked up at the sky and felt the world passing by me, and thought how long will this moment carry me before it loses its strength to.
Whenever I measure my life against an ideal example for how to live a so-called good one, I always end up thinking about how I don’t have a family or how there’s no retirement plan at my choice of career, in other words, how I’m lucky to see water once a week, never mind swim in it.
I suppose I could move into an apartment complex that had a pool, and sort of take back that activity from the archive of childhood to be more like the way my relatives were, always in the water. But I don’t think swimming is really a priority anymore, and maybe it never was.
Without even realizing it, I must have floated right by the desire to swim in a local pond or at one of the many ocean beaches on the coast my grandmother grew up beside with her family, which was from York, and not Concord, originally.
Now whenever I see someone fishing, swimming, boating, or doing anything in the water, I only think about how even before they were gone, I’d outgrown the pleasures my family thought they shared with me. Simply looking at this painting on my wall my great grandfather painted of a lighthouse in Maine I’m thinking what on earth. It’s like I come from a whole other species and geologic time period. It’s practically a fossil.