There's something incredibly alive about a community pool; whether it is the toddlers peeing in the shallow end or the bacteria growing between lap-swimmer Sam's toes, I'm not sure. There are people everywhere doing all kinds of activity. The bobbing of buoyant women doing aquaerobics beside me is rather funny and the 10-year olds learning butterfly make sucking noises in my underwater world that awaken a need to save lives.
I've rediscovered my love for swimming in the past month and I did it at my local pool. The pool isn't of Hollywood, or even suburbia, quality, but it's filled with water--and lots of people. The lanes are regulation-length, unlike Seton Hill's, so when I say I do a 500, I do 500 yards, not 350. I come for the lap swims, but there are sometimes two or even three classes going on at the same time. I am lucky to have a lane. I swim.
However, I catch myself concentrating on the people more than anything, even my workout. The parents on the stands, watching their little ones get fished out of the deep end, the lifeguards, in an edgy state of comotose, the aquaerobics women, talking above Little Richard's wails to "Good Golly Miss Molly."
It's all so alive, especially when you're under the quiet pull of the water, feel the sting in your stomach and suddenly a wall of sound as oxygen pours into your lungs. Alive, living. My ears hear it, and I can sense the flailing and crying, but inevitably return to my artificial blue again until my breath gives out.
Swimming is therapy for me. I push myself, but I know I'll never make an impression. The water will go back to what it once was and all the ripples I made will not matter. I will be changed because of its impression on me.
When I get down, I think about rivers and lakes I've visited and waterfalls I've seen. I think about how they flow long after I leave. I remember how I swam their depths and touched the bottom with my wrinkled fingers. I think about the way I was carried by their flow and not my strokes, though I thought it was me. I remember their life, quite apart from my presence. Those thoughts are with me now, as I wait, and float.
I have a way of thinking the worst about myself; I think many writers do. Yesterday, I called the Tribune-Review to pick up some freelancing work. My message to the editor sounded like a robot on three shots of expresso.
I wish I would have started this book by Jack Hart before then. I picked up "A Writer's Coach" at the library about a week ago, and finally cracked it last night. Hart's background is what got me reading in the first place. A long-time editor for The Oregonian and an ex-college professor, he pairs his knowledge of theory with practice in an interesting blend of writing advice that speaks particularly to the journalistic craft.
In one section, I found the idea of writing a theme at the top of the Word document especially helpful. It is like writing a thesis, but it is never seen by the public. The public doesn't want to see a thesis; they want a story. He adds that the thesis can be altered, too, when more information proves it wrong. I would get stuck in the past sometimes when my theme or preconceived notion was proved wrong. I didn't know or think that I could change my direction and still have a viable story. Hart says you can, and should, and not make a big deal about it. Liberating stuff. I can't wait to start writing again with his advice fresh in my head.
I don't know exactly what to do with my blog now. I don't exactly know what to do now period. I am waiting to hear from one graduate school and muster the courage to finish the second which is due on February 1. When I look at my blog, I see completion of school, but by no means, me. I would like to keep blogging on the Seton Hill-hosted blogs, but I am not sure if it appropriate to do so.
With that in mind, as an alum, I will join the SHU crew of Mike, Karissa and Dr. Jerz to New York in the March at the Conference on College Composition and Communication. I need to get cracking on my paper. So, I need a little assistance from my fellow bloggers, particularly ex-bloggers. Have you left your blog? Do you know someone that has stopped blogging? Please send me an e-mail if you have or know someone that has said goodbye to blogging and would be willing to be interviewed.
Back to the B movie I was watching. Procrastination. Procrastination. Sweet, sorrowful procrastination.