Excellent question. Is there an answer?
What is it about the water that I am so drawn to it? I don’t think probably more or less than most maybe. What is it?
I often find myself thinking how peaceful it is under the water. I love sounds, but there is nothing like the sound that is underwater. It’s suspended; it’s void and blank. There is a heavy feel to it. Yet it is calming, natural and mysterious. I think a lot about how to be on the water.
Being in or around the water you didn’t think about what was going on in your world or the world for that matter. You had to pay attention to the water and what you were doing in it. You have to pay attention, be present. You have to balance and measure your breathing.
It is total escape. It is the avoidance of everything else around you.
It wraps your body in a gentle hug of a cool touch that sometimes turned warm depending on the time of the year and how large a body of water you were in. It would allow you to float, lay back and relax. Dive and let all of the air out of your lungs to listen, listen to nothing. You do have to employee a certain amount of attention. Keeping in mind where you are, the depth and where the surface is. Because no matter how hard you try to float, you might loose your buoyancy. If below, at some point, you have to surface to breathe air.
Since moving to Portland in 1997 and realizing that you can live on the water. I think about it all the time. Some days it feels like if I don’t my life will somehow be short, or cheated of what it is suppose to be. Some days it feels like I want that more than anything.
Back in 2002 or 2003 I read an article that claimed it was water, not oil that was the major cause of war in the Middle East. I don’t have the original article that was in the NY Times. But I did find this at, leinsdorf.com I don’t know who this is, but he has a post that speaks to this very topic. And there is this post.
But I digress and this makes me very unhappy. They have taken my oasis, my retreat and made it a struggle amongst people.
Breath …. Breath
Okay, back to my original thoughts.
Water – Chinese
I think it can be said that I like water, pools, lakes, oceans and rivers. That said, my one fear is drowning. For that very reason you won’t find me white water rafting. And not every time but occasionally crossing over a bridge I think about what I would do on the way down if the bridge collapsed in an effort to not drown? If I survived the impact should I leave the windows up or open them? I’m sure I can find that online.
I grew up in Missouri. The largest body of water was a lake. Two actually. Both about 20 minutes away. I now live in Portland. I cross the Willamette River almost every day. I can sit at Island Café and the water is inches below me. I can sit at my friend Mel’s and look down on the river. If I head west on 26, I’m 84.2 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
I don’t drive that 84.2 miles as often as I would like. But I know it’s there, it’s a pretty quick drive. After I saw the ocean for the first time when I was 16, I think from that point that water would have a different meaning for me. I think it made me a bit restless and tentative. I think back now an realize that I drove by or around those two lakes in Missouri more than I thought to be near water.
There is something solitary about it. I’m not saying that I’m seeking solitude. I am fine with it, if it’s on the water.