Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Too much water for me to drink

Never Done: Shadow post
Never Done: I didn't go in the ocean

Every now and then I do something that I can't write about publicly, and so instead I write about something else. Don't worry -- I write about the private thing privately, so it's not lost for posterity.

The public thing ... Josh and I took a little detour between Maryland and Brooklyn to go to the beach for an hour at the Jersey shore. I wanted to get back in the water after my Hudson River fiasco, and I wanted to try out my new rash guard that I hope to wear on Sunday instead of a wetsuit.

The beach was gorgeous, and the water wasn't even very cold. But the waves were crashing hard with a strong undertow, and for the first time in my life, I was afraid to go in the water. Josh went in and played -- and I stood on the shore, with the surf coming in to about my knees, and ... didn't go in.

I can't remember ever been afraid of the water. When I was a little child, I fell in and sank to the bottom of a neighbor's swimming pool until a teenager plucked me out, and I don't think I was scared at all. I sort of remember a peaceful calm at the bottom -- one in fact that I replicated again and again just for fun. But now that my lungs aren't working right, and now that I had the experience of not being able to take a breath in the water, I seem to have developed a new fear -- (or maybe it's a new awareness of a hidden fear?) Whatever it is, for the first time in my life, I passed up a chance to get in the ocean on a beautiful day. I hope that either this phase doesn't last long, or that there's something really significant to learn from it.

Starting with empathy for others.

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