Water everywhere

There are interests and hobbies that stay and there are some that (I let) go. Just like people.:) Being an ardent monster of recycling, I find myself recycling a person or two in terms of ties (more on this in a future WordPress blog entry and its link with my fascination toward GGM’s theme in his book, One Hundred Years of Solitude) and recycling interests.

When I was in college, my sister and I would go to Rizal Complex for our weekly swim. We hired a coach to coax out the inner Phelps and Franklin just bobbing within us. I learned the backstroke, breaststroke, and the butterfly kick but never the freestyle. My body is not aligned for swimming, but I kicked and treaded water as if I had been born in it.

This I wrote in a letter to a friend: “When I swim, I keep my eyes open, but sometimes, I end up closing my eyes. The silence is very palpable, and the sensation of moving without impediments (or the illusion of their absence) like gravity, objects, pollution, is freeing.”

There is a painting of Ophelia done by British artist John Everett Millais that has a special place within me. That painting reveals myriad meanings to me, and it is never flat and finished for me. Like a spectre just swimming in the periphery, that painting continues to arrest with its absent answers.

When I swim, the voices in me grow calm and silent. I think they follow the flow and speech of water or they realize that they are home.

Recently, I have swum in a well-maintained pool in Makati. I would do laps of breaststroke and backstroke and let my head stay underwater for as long as I can for the dolphin kick. Once, I tried the arm stroke of the butterfly stroke, and I landed on the surface flat and hard. Jolted, I felt the suspension of pain, but there was water and silence swirling everywhere salving the impact.


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