bike: 8.5 miles
to lake nokomis and back
swim: 1000 yards/.57 miles
lake nokomis main beach
Yes! Summer is here. My first real swim of the year at Lake Nokomis. Thought about doing a mile but since I haven’t swam since October, I thought I’d better take it easy. I did 5 loops in my wetsuit which I don’t like wearing because it feels tight and too constricting. But today it was nice in the cold water. The water was not clear at all and a bit choppy. Noticed a few kayaks just outside the swim area. Was able to see the white buoys some of the time. The real test will be when I try to sight the orange buoy a week from today. I’d like to go swimming as many as I can before that. My goal is to regularly do at least 10 loops.
Don’t remember thinking about much except for whether or not my legs were cramping up or if water was getting in my ear or if there were any fish below me or boats approaching or how my yellow backpack was doing propped up against the big light post. A few times the waves in the water looked like other swimmers.
“Our relationship to you is the same as
that between abstraction and metaphor,
between the idea of a clear lake
and the citing of the lake to describe
the clear idea,” one said with a laugh.
Oh, I said then, what a fine idea
and now what lake will embody its fact?
And this: Aren’t we tired of comparisons
to the natural world? Then this: “And what
world isn’t natural?” “Only the world
of the mind is unnatural.” And this:
“It defies nature and defines nature
and won’t be defined. The life of the mind.”
“But its death“ one punned: “Perish the thought.”
“In the deep all these questions sink away,
and only the swimming matters: water
sliding around the head and heart and hip,
arms cresting and curving, with not against;
carried along on the roll and the rush,
a good swimming knows water won’t resist,
swift or even slow but yes, effortless.”
“Are these words merely pretty? No, my dear.
Water is the principle of pleasure
and of pain, the receiver of the touch,
for the cells and tissues are waterbound.”
With the splash of a smile one turned to me:
“What bodies do we choose? A glacial lake,
cold as ice, aqua-blue and vaporing,
on which one red leaf is a gash of joy,
a sultry southern sea warm as a bath
and carrying its weight in liquid salt.
We covet water through which light will ride
and you, my dear…” Here his words drifted off.