No swimming today. First time since last Saturday. It’s already warm at 8 am. 90s in the afternoon. Ran the marshall loop. No stopping at the top of the hill–ran past Real Wicker and Black Coffee and Waffles. Is it called that because they only serve black coffee, no lattes? Never thought about that before. Chanted some triple berries: strawberry/blackberry/raspberry. Don’t remember noticing much. Looked down at the river as I crossed it–no rowers, a few logs near the shore. Don’t remember feeling any bugs or hearing any birds. No planes or trains. I might have heard a roller skier’s clicking poles. No music blasting from a radio or a bike speaker.
Water Thoughts: Fish
It’s still July, so I’m still finding water poems, which is getting harder, at least with my amateur approach to researching them. Anyway, here’s a few fragments about fishes. An entire poem, some parts of others, a poem of mine, a few fish sounds, and an excerpt from a commencement speech.
Fish/ MARY ANN HOBERMAN
Look at them flit
With a leap and a bound
But none of them making the tiniest
from Wilderness/ Carl Sandburg
There is a fish in me . . . I know I came from salt-blue water-gates . . . I scurried with shoals of herring . . . I blew waterspouts with porpoises . . . before land was . . . before the water went down . . . before Noah . . . before the first chapter of Genesis.
from The Nude Swim/ Anne Sexton
All the fish in us
had escaped for a minute.
The real fish did not mind.
We did not disturb their personal life.
We calmly trailed over them
and under them, shedding
Imposter/ Sara Lynne Puotinen
Part of me wants to be a fish
in the middle of the lake
but most of me wants to stay human
and crawl back to shore.
With each loop I wonder if
a transformation will occur
before the beach is reached.
Will I sprout scales gain gills lose lungs?
Yet as the loop ends
and my feet touch sand
I always remain the same—
a human only pretending to be a fish.
from This is Water/ David Foster Wallace
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”
It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:
“This is water.”
“This is water.”
It’s fun to put together these fragments around a theme. I used to love doing it when constructing a syllabus–maybe one of my favorite parts of teaching and syllabus writing: creating a conversation between different voices that might lead to more conversations in a class. I might do more of these…