Wednesday, July 18, 2007



The sea blinds me with its hard glitter, and has cranked itself down to a very unfriendly temperature.
The headline today was
“Sydney Has Another Cold Night”
I find this funny.

The Old Blokes down by the water watched me approach.
Where’ve YOU been? They asked.
I told them I had been up in the Snowy Mountains, and they all smirked.
You’ll be used to ice, then.

Just as I was about to dive in, I turned, raised my hand then patted my wrist.
Time me. I haven’t a watch. I can’t count.
Ole Mal nods in the distance, still smirking. Pats his watch.

The cold is like being squeezed. As I surface, a loud involuntary shriek whoops out of my mouth, the water burns. Time to move.
I cannot hear them laugh, though they are all watching from a distance.

After eight laps, I can’t feel it anymore. My head is buzzing lightly, and I spin through the clear green.
Thoughts come. I dream. I am a fish.
Pale green light enters my soul, finding the spaces, filling them up for this short while.

Mal raises his hand in the distance.
The wind is ice on my skin as I stand dripping on the edge.
Thirty laps, he says, but my body knows that, secretly.

Today I am making a Lino-print of a fish with wings.
I am thinking of somebody far far away.


meggie said...

Oh My Gosh! I can almost feel the icy caress of that water! The sting of it!
I dont know how you do it.

ganching said...

I have rather optimistically packed my swimsuit to take to Kerry today - the sea of Ireland is always freezing , winter or summer - but is always beautiful to look at.

riseoutofme said...


jellyhead said...

fifi you are a legend!

Arcturus said...

Why not just take a hot, steamy bath instead of jumping into such cold water?

Who is this person far, far away you're thinking of??

fifi said...

ganch,The sea of Ireland sounds too wonderful...go in!

Jelly, perhaps not as much a legend as a madwoman.

Arc, I am addicted. I do it every day and always have. I love it.

I was thinking of a dear friend further even than you, of whom I think constantly and always have.

riseoutofme said...


The sea around Ireland is for FISHING and BOATING and WINDSURFING .....

Swimming = Fossilization

I know these things.

Arcturus said...

Farther away that me?? But geographically, you and I are about as far apart on this planet as is possible!

Oh, re. your comment on my blog, it turns out that ginormous floating military island fortress known as the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk was indeed in your part of the world ... sailed to Sydney recently.

it's the little things... said...

I have no tolerance for cold.
You are my newest hero!

fifi said...

ok, rise,
I think you should try at least one dip. i have it on good authority that the north sea temperature is currently 14 degrees celsius. That's doable. Down to ten is doable, just not really appealing.

If you turn into an ammonite, that would be pretty amazing though, and well worth the swim.

Princess Banter said...

That was awesome -- but I don't think I would ever have the cajones to jump into icy water. I imagine it would be like brainfreeze a hundred times over haha! You make me miss my own home too... now look what you did :P

Steve said...

I love winter...but couldn't handle an outdoor