i've never been one who could open their eyes underwater. even with goggles, my eyes stay shut. there is something about looking at things underwater that scares me. i don't know what i expect to see, but i don't want to see it and so i've never been one to open my eyes. pools or the ocean. doesn't matter.
i've also never been one to stay under water too long. it is too quiet. it is too different. within a few seconds, i feel fear climbing up my spine and there i am, surfacing for air. opening my eyes too quickly. feeling the sting of chlorine or salt.
and yet i think of myself as someone who loves the water. wants to be near it.
i am far more interested in being near it and watching it and hearing it than i am in being in it.
well, that's not exactly true. i learned how to body board/boogie board last summer and now i think that is what beaches are for so...but in this situation, i am still above the water. so. yeah.
a few weeks ago i read lidia yuknavitch's memoir, the chronology of water, so i've been thinking about water a bit.
did i ever tell you my grandpa was a swimmer?
my mom tells stories of them going to the beach when she was a kid and him swimming far out and them looking for his head in the waves. my grandpa would go and swim laps at the gym or on vacation. you'd see him leave in his swim trunks and a funny hat on his head and he'd shuffle down to the pool. sometimes i'd meet him afterward, sit in the hot tub and chat with him. more often, i sat next to him afterward. by the pool. my grandma would join us eventually.
he swam until he fractured his pelvis seven or so years ago.
many said that his swimming probably kept him strong and healthy until his 90s and 100s.
i wonder if he ever tried to teach me to be a better swimmer.
i took swim lessons at least once, i remember.
i didn't mean for this to be a post about my grandfather. but this is what happens a lot these days. i start in one place and i end up some place else. i've sort of been floating in a soup of emotions this last month (also, death causes schedules to go to shit. i am behind on everything it feels like.). i have started writing posts on insomnia and depression and health and writing and never published any of them because they started in one place and ended in another. and because good things have been intertwined with all the stress and anxiety and i still am not grown-up enough to know how to balance the good and the bad, the happy and the sad...much less write about the two.
anyway, water. i love it and it scares me.
that probably should be written on my tombstone when i die (though, it has already been decided, that i will be cremated so i won't have a tombstone, but work with me): she loved it and it scared her.
i haven't sat by the water in months. maybe it is time to go.