After a week and a half off because of COVID quarantining (daughter RJP had it, not me), I was able to go back to the pool. Crowded. Did my usual swim — continuous 200s, breathing every 3/4/5/6 by 50s, not stopping until I saw Scott at the end of the lane. I felt strong and steady and happy to be using my muscles differently. My kneecap (or was it just above my knee?) felt weird once, but otherwise was fine.
10 Things I Noticed
- Miss Luna came about 20 minutes into my swim
- my nose plug kept shifting and I had to stop a few times to adjust it. I didn’t feel any water coming in my nose, but I could feel my air coming out
- after the first few flip turns, my nose burned from the chlorine
- looking straight ahead underwater, I watched as my hands made bubbles as they entered the water
- the woman one lane over was swimming breaststroke, her frog kick looked extra froggy
- a man in black swim trunks was walking the length of the pool by the far wall. Why?
- looking up, I noticed someone at the end of my lane. She asked to share a lane. Sure! I think I might have said yep too.
- the woman sharing my lane kicked a lot as she swam freestyle. I saw, but didn’t feel, the water churning as I swam past
- turning on the wall, pushing off, looking ahead and noticing the bubbles of my lane partner, and thinking about how I was gaining on her*
- orange: my orange bag, the orange sign saying No lifeguard on duty, Scott’s orange swimming trunks
*I’m not really that competitive (am I?), but I do get some pleasure in being faster and passing people. I don’t want to race them, just pass them. It makes me feel like I’m going faster.
In the middle of my swim I started thinking about the Ishihara plate I’m working on, the one about the test and why it, and the Ishihara plate as form, is important to me. I thought about how the draft I worked on this morning seems to offer a redemptive conclusion — I will choose to see my changing vision not as losing it, but it being made strange. Then I thought about how I don’t want to do that, to resolve it, to make it a moment of redemption. As I circled around the pool, I wondered how to make this Ishihara poem more messy and uncertain. Even as I do prefer to understand my vision as strange and not lost, I don’t want to conclude the poem with this idea. As I was thinking this — and in far less words than I’m writing now! — I thought of something else, how I find the Ishihara plate pleasing with its many circles and dots — I love polka dots! — and colors, but I also find it a little gross and upsetting. It looks like disease or cancer cells under a microscope. I’m thinking about cancer a lot right now. Scott’s mom just died of lung cancer, and we’re watching Walter White deal with lung cancer on Breaking Bad — FWA finally convinced us to watch it and wow, what a show! What to do with this idea in the poem? Not sure, but I’m also thinking about cancer cells as uncontrolled growth and the uncontrolled growth of the market as progress in capitalism, and then how the version of cone dystrophy I have is progressive — it gradually worsens, so here progress is not about getting better, but getting worse. Whew — that’s a lot! Not sure how, if it all, I’ll use this in the poem, but it was helpful to think about it in flashes as I moved through the water.