Thursday, February 07, 2013


 It's all relative that to the rusty old Tin Man encumbered with metal joints that squeal and groan, walking a block is the same as a healthy fit man running a marathon. As to me, readers of this dusty journal, I have spent the last two years silently congratulating myself whenever I make it out of bed. I am a marvel. I am strong. I breathe. I live. One such event which caused me to think of the humble old Tin Man and his creaking joints was my venture into the ocean tonight. It was the first time in as long as I can remember that I took the plunge and did something that connected me to an action worthy of old me. Although the step came in the form of an easy decision, like a switch turned on, it was years in the making.

There was the year of sitting on the beach in my clothes feeling strangely agoraphobic. Then the year I sat on the beach in my clothes with my bathers underneath, not ever touching the water. Then a tentative step inside, just up to the ankles... then the shins.. And finally, years after the desire first appeared a walk into the deep that kept going, past the hips, past the ribs and up to the chin. I kept the panic attack and fear at bay but only just. Then the hands went out and my feet lifted, and I wondered for a moment if I remembered how to swim.

I didn't at first, if I am being completely honest. I sank, stumbling over my steps like a toddler learning to walk, but again like a toddler I caught myself and went again.

Then I did remember.

I remembered being young and free (as the cliche goes) and diving deep under the waves and spending all day in the water staring at the gulls soaring above. I felt a part of the Earth and the Earth a part of me, which is a step so important that I can't begin to describe the emotion that erupted in my heart with that realisation and connection. I wanted to write it down even though I knew my brain couldn't quite remember how to turn my thoughts into words, as required here. I floated for a while and watched the clouds swirl above me peacefully and concentrated on the sounds of the gleeful children and laughing adults and took the time to feel the gentle, warmth of the salt water all around me like a comforting hug. Thus I emerged unto the shore, birthed by the Earth and Baptized by the sea and made my way back to my towel and just sat for a long time, stunned at myself and marveling at how the enormity of my actions went unnoticed by anyone else around me.

Tomorrow I go back to being a worthless excuse but tonight I am truly amazing. Trust me, I am.

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