july 18/SWIM

3 loops
lake nokomis open swim
85 degrees

Warmer today. Yes! I forgot to mention yesterday how cold I was when I left the water at cedar. My jaw ached, my legs were shaking a little. For the last loop my fingers were almost numb. It wasn’t that cold — in the 70s (air), 75 (water) — but it felt cold to me. Tonight much better. The difference was the air temperature and the amount of sun, I think. A nice swim.

I can tell that it’s harder for me to see the orange buoys. I barely ever see them now. Really just the idea of orange — I look in the direction I think the buoy should be and orange appears in my head. Maybe this sounds strange, but I think what’s happening is that my brain is getting some visual data that’s too faint for me to recognize consciously — my brain, everyone’s brain, does that. I’m pretty confident I’m going the right way so I keep swimming. So far, the buoy always shows up (approximately/roughly/almost) where I thought it was.

10 Things

  1. silver flashes below me — fish?!
  2. a lifeguard’s voice through a bullhorn announcing the safety break (at 6:15) — I heard it as I swam parallel to the main beach in the long stretch between the second green buoy and the first orange one
  3. racing swan boats! — 3 or 4 of them off to my left as I swam toward the little beach
  4. a single sailboat with an orange sail
  5. a paddle boarder in the swimming area
  6. a vine wrapped around my shoulders, prickly and long — I didn’t want to stop swimming so I quickly ripped it off with my stroking hand
  7. crossing above the rope that is attached to the buoy on one end, an anchor on the other
  8. looking under the water and seeing the pale legs of a swimmer in front of me
  9. barely grazing the foot of another swimmer near the far orange buoy — did it irritate or surprise him? Did he think it was a fish or a swimmer or something else? Did he even notice?
  10. the diagonal line of swimmers taking the shortest and most direct path from buoy to buoy — seeing them on my left side every time I breathed, I could see elbows, forearms, the white of their spray, the green of their caps, the yellow of their safety buoys

Found this poem the other day:

Trust/ Thomas R. Smith

It’s like so many other things in life
to which you must say no or yes.
So you take your car to the new mechanic.
Sometimes the best thing to do is trust.

The package left with the disreputable-looking
clerk, the check gulped by the night deposit,
the envelope passed by dozens of strangers—
all show up at their intended destinations.

The theft that could have happened doesn’t.
Wind finally gets where it was going
through the snowy trees, and the river, even
when frozen, arrives at the right place.

And sometimes you sense how faithfully your life
is delivered, even though you can’t read the address.

I like trusting the world — not that I always do, but I’m trying to.