Snippet: Treading Water

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I was on extended holiday, but the fact didn’t feel real. Just like the water-I was floating, pleasantly chilled, held by by the buoyancy of truth but treading water on hearsay. 

Treading water was fun and even easy in warm water, like being in a deep bath tub. With the blue sky painting the surface like light refracting off lapis lazuli and lapping all around me, I was content. The perfect landscape was reminiscent of a storybook, or a picture I had seen for an independent film once. The girl had also been swallowed by a lake but in much colder, nearly bruise-purple waters-although, surrounded by evocatively beautiful mountains, the beauty of it drew its watcher in. 

How many lazy days had I had that were like this? A lot, the echo of a voice in my head replied. So many days when the waters were invitingly warm, the sun tantalizingly like a spotlight. Hadn’t they whispered about me? Seize the day, the weather’s good, want to join? How often had they come back philosophizing the silkiness of wind, the grip of threads of currents? Yet the waters had seared my skin, the sun burned a black hole through my dreams. Not like they were now. Not like the eye of calm I felt now in the middle of the perfect storm.

As I began to sink, lazy from a lack of exercise, a single thought bubbled to the surface of the haze: If only I were less of a perfectionist, it would feel like a vacation everyday. Like an extended holiday. Just ask for an extended holiday and you’ll feel this way all the time.


Sunlight through the trees


Actually I had a very peaceful day in the water with my family. It was a fantastic day surrounded by people I love. Out in the waters, it was calming to be unanchored to the land. But I was lazy, and I could only swim for five minutes before paddling, gasping, back to shore. Afterwards, I felt a renewed calm on land, with a certainty that everyday could be this relaxing.


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