Swimming. I’ve gotten myself to swim a mile (64 laps) every other day. I think I’ve gained a layer of insulation and feel like a fucking awesome penguin. Swimming and water, to me, is life itself. Even in Costa Rica, where I took a long luxurious swim, only to find out later I’d been surrounded by at least 30 stingrays, circling me, I muse on that as death-defying ecstasy. As Melville says in Moby Dick which I’m lusting right now, “Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down a dale and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Yes, as everyone knows, water and mediation are wedded for ever.”

Water cools down my fiery Aries body and gets me in touch with all my Pisces planets and risings. But while my body may be soothed and sated, my eyes are a whole other thang. I’m practically blind, most usually wear glasses since I can’t wear contacts easily, so when I swim, all but blurred visions are my existence. I kind of like shutting down one sense when it means gaining the intensity of more. I depend on my fellow swimmers to tell me if a lane is free or what the time might be, since I can only see about a foot in front of my face.

I’ve had my goggles for years – big, ugly face mask so not to hurt my under eye skin (always the narcissist). But it leaks. I have measured a good swim or not by how much I have defied water getting in. I have hot-glued them – which doesn’t last long. I have cinched them so tight they might cut off my brain. I love them. I’ve looked, but I haven’t been able to find any big enough to replace them.

But now that my distances are longer and more often than ever, it’s difficult to bear the chlorine in my eyes coming through the leaky mask. I have been operating by stopping in the middle of lap, breathing in Zen patience, dumping out the excess water, and continuing on. I was focused on surrender and dealing with obstacles.

Funny, how, just as I’ve shed a terribly dramatic and heavily burdened with his problems kind of relationship, I find the perfect replacement goggles. While not as big as my old ones, not as worn-in and loved, the new goggles don’t leak. Plus, the new ones are cat-like with a shiny purple, glitter flare which makes me laugh.

I am amazed how much faster I go. Glide, slippery when wet, glittery. Without so many breaks, I am breathless much earlier. I’m a fish! I’m a dolphin, I cry out loud under water.

I love them. But they are still too new to tell. I am wary, nervous for the new goggles to keep proving their worth, to break in. Oh jeez, I am a sucker for sentimentalism, even if it’s under eye-wear. But it’s worse. It makes me sad still, at this new juncture, to look at the new shiny ones. I’m not an in with the new, out with the old gal, and hover in purgatory.

Should I be ashamed to say I still carry the old ones with me just in case? Just in case of what? what, in hopes they fix themselves? Yes. Hope is often my worst failing, but I still have faith in the growth of human nature. Cold water wake up.

For now, whatever works. I’ll stay in my lane and rejoice in the distances. The glittery purple are working.

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