Thursday, May 03, 2007

photo friday: relaxation

This is my first post with photo friday, and I have set a goal for myself, and it may be ridiculous, but for now, it is mine: to take the assigned photo that week (or maybe the week before), but to not go back into the archives of my picture taking. We'll see how long this lasts, especially if it seasonally does not work out, but I have a sort of blind determination to challenge myself, to consider this homework, something to do here and now, to see what these prompts me to me today.

After all, I'm not sure if looking at a bunch of balls of yarn would feel relaxing in six months, six years. Perhaps anxiety would rise--I've spent too much money, I have a project with an obscene deadline (this often happens). Or the water--maybe a bad memory will rise.

But for now, these are two many things I find are the best at relaxing me, aside from the comfort of K's presence, aside from reading a good book between cool sheets during a spring thunderstorm. But these things do not lend themselves to photographs today, and besides--so often is the soft tick of bamboo knitting needles a comfort (I may bring some on the plane tomorrow), so often does this keep me calm after a hard day in the classroom, and so often is water my solace. Here it is in our whirlpool bathtub, a perk to our new house (new-old house as it was built in 1890), though currently the jets are stubbornly not working.

I was on swim team in high school. I was one of the worst swimmers, I'll admit, but I was as dedicated as the rest. I showed up every morning at six am, rubbery cap plastered against my forehead, tube of icy hot on the rim of the pool, goggles snapped on. I never learned how to start, never learned how to dive before that, and the crowd once groaned audibly (I could hear them, beneath the water) as I belly flopped my way into the pool. But I was able to release so much in that pool: anger when I found out about the injustice of AIDS in the lives of people I loved, anger at ridiculous high school relationships turned sour, anger at familiar relationships gone awry. I would come out cleansed, comforted.

To me, relaxation can be two things: the kind you discover, like a walk in the woods or along a quiet beach, but it also can be the kind you return to again and again, like creation and immersion.

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