What seems simple is not always so. To arrive at a place of seeming simplicity can take tremendous effort, the assistance of others, a soul shaking amount of dammit-all courage.
This photograph was taken the day I learned to swim.
I was 45 years old.
When I was a child I was preoccupied by mermaids. My fantasies were about being one, I collected them, I wanted quite badly to be one. The hold up on that particular wish fulfillment was the fact that I was terrified of the water - because I could not swim and in fact on two occasions nearly drowned (or thought I nearly drowned - same thing to a panic stricken kid).
Perhaps my desire to be a mermaid stemmed from the fact that they could breathe underwater, and they could, of course, swim. Ya think?
There was a lot of water in my life as a child, it was unavoidable. Did I mention I grew up on an island? The irony is not lost on me. Not only were trips to the beach fairly frequent but everyone in my neighborhood had a swimming pool. The damned H2O was EVERYWHERE! And while I loved being in it, splashing around, just moving through it - feet firmly on the ground, head well above it - I never felt completely at ease because one slip, one push could send me under it and kill me. I knew instinctively that nobody would rush to my aid if I fell beneath the surface, not only because of my trust issues but because EVERYONE knew how to swim and assumed that I could as well. Because a kid who grows up on an island, surrounded by swimming pools, must certainly know how to swim and if that kid flails and/or stays under for a little too long why they are simply fooling around. But Joy don't play that.
So I stayed dry far more than I liked.
Until I was taught to swim and to float - like a mermaid. So what you see on the surface may look like nothing special, look again, it might be the biggest event in someone's life.