Sunday, August 17, 2008

swimming on

It is a ritual of sorts, a mark on an unseen calendar.

The temperature drops,
Twelve degrees,
Just under.

It doesn’t quite make it down to ten, but nearly.

In some kind of cold-induced psychosis I swim twice as far: from here to elsewhere.
The old blokes scratch their heads: you’re bloody nuts.

Then, just as I am all fired up to go, the ice age is over.
Still, I am still swimming to eternity. Born as a new fish, with far to go.

The world turns itself over: here is the start. The light is at its clearest, the icy stream has been and moved on. I’m singing of the ice in my veins, the light in my head, the prospect of a long song in a cold cold ocean.

Much happens, but I find myself somewhat mute.

I am currently writing. Papers.
One on Wonder, and the other on the Sublime.
Finding it difficult, of course, as I always do. but crawling along with it. I do my best.

Just read what I wrote six weeks ago.
Darn good. Evidently, I was channelling Meli. Truly. She was as good as sitting here at my table, she was.

My methodology is erratic. Piles of notes, six notebooks, sticky notes. I took an hour to write one sentence, and looking at it the next day, I didn’t like it.

I can either get back to it right now, or I can go fold some clothes. People like their clothes folded, it’s a novelty around here.

Perhaps I will just look at the moon on the water, which will be a consideration of both wonderment AND the sublime.
The clothes can stay rumpled and strewn.


little red hen said...

The clothes will be there tomorrow or the next day but this moon will not.

Isabelle said...

That sounds very chilly. Folding clothes is sensible if it means that you don't then have to iron them. But maybe too sensible. Not fun.

Molly said...

Folding clothes and looking at the moon. Both of which I must remember to do. There is supposed to be something wonderful to see in the night sky from now until month's end. Mars is apparently closer to us? or the moon? than it has ever been in lifetimes being lived now. And closer than it will be again for several thousand years.
You write for a living? now i am jealous. And i have not blown off the lino cutting. Just remember--great bodies move slowly!

Jellyhead said...

fifi I am also loathe to fold clothes. Hence our dining table is perpetually covered in clean clothing (we have a kitchen table we eat at).

I can't believe what cold temperatures you swim in. You must be steely of both mind and body. I stand in awe.

Pam said...

When I had to swim(which I did daily for a year for a bad back) I would sit at the edge of the pool every time for ages to psyche myself into it. I hate the cold water, so I admire what you do. Also, about folded clothes, I loved Beatrix Potter's hedgehog Mrs.Tiggywinkle,with her neat humming little ways of folding clothes and doing laundry.There is something comforting about someone else folding clothes (and enjoying it, which I don't!). When we were little and in bed sick,there was always a quiet Tiggwinkle domesticity in the background. Now on my part, its all rush.

fifi said...

Red Hen,The moon won and the clothes lost.

Molly, I have seen a star chasing after the moon very brightly, I think it is Mars or Mercury, but if Regulus calls by he will tell us.
I have had to sideline the printing too!
I don't write for a living, technically speaking, its sort of part of the whole package of my work and practice and I like it even though I am not so great at it.

isabelle, if I folded them in the first place I wouldn't have the rumples.

jelly, its all about bodyfat I'm sure. And adrenaline.

Pam, i wish I were more Tiggywinklish, but alas, no.
I remember my grandma always helped with the folding. I consider persons very fortunate that they have their clothes WASHED for them.

Regulus said...

Brrr ... 11C water ... I couldn't swim in that.

The Moon upon the ocean in a far-and-away place so far beneath the Equator sounds so exotic indeed.

meli said...

oh that is very sweet fifi. you know sometimes i think writing is the loneliest thing in the world, which is why i avoid it. but then i get this strange fancy that my friends are with me as i write, that i am somehow closer to them in my quiet writing than i would be any other way. but i thought i was just making it up.

wonder. what a brilliant concept. i think it is the centre of a lot of good things. it is one of the best things. and not really a thing. but you know what i mean.

folding clothes... i will never be a proper german housewife. m has to fold his own shirts to get them right. i just fold things over each other until they turn into rough squares. which isn't how the pros do it. (had a bit of a spat with mother-in-common-law over this at one point - i didn't really want her folding our clothes, which she seriously adores doing - but she forgave me.) much better to wonder at the moon.