Monday, February 20, 2012

Liquid Ideas

Today I swam at least a mile. I didn't count how many laps I did, but I know my average and I know how long I was in the pool (60 minutes) and I know that I stopped twice - once for stretching and once for stretching plus lunges. So it was around a mile.

And two things about today's swim are important. One is that I never hit that wall where I think I should stop, where my shoulders ache a little and my breathing is at a point where I question the need to stop, where I feel tired and like I can't do one more lap. I will say that I've learned the difference between that wall and the place where I really need to stop; I do know the difference. Today I stopped because I was hungry and needed to shower and do some writing before I went to work. And it was enough.

photograph of artwrok by Serena Barton
The second thing about today's swim that's important is that I realized that I really don't want a waterproof iPod or other mp3 player. I've considered it. But I've doing some of my energy/healing protocols while I swim - it makes for a nice and whole body integration. Those thoughts provide a nice rhythm and keep flow as I swim. Then just as important is that I've been generating a lot of ideas while I swim. Not so much ideas for stories - though I have picked up a couple of characters - but ideas in terms of publication, or writing workshops, for zines or anthologies.

When I'm swimming, I'm free of judgments, overall. The thoughts flow with the movement of my arms and my legs. The ideas meander into my brain and I turn them over and examine them and think, hm, maybe.

In the water I'm not checking my email, taking phone calls, getting text messages. I can't look up the significance of a phrase or a location or whatever path my web search leads me down. In the water my body is busy, gliding through the water, counting the strokes between breaths, feeling the shift in temperature as I pass the cold water inlet and later the heater, follow the line of tiles on the bottom of the pool, notice the ladder on my left which means I have one more stroke to the end of the pool.

In the water my thoughts soften and slow. And ideas can enter. Free of the technology, that energy used to monitor and respond and process, my mind can wander and dream and create new ideas. I'm not sure why more seems possible in the water while I'm swimming and I'm not questioning the process.


Nice combination.