Monday, 20 June 2011

Surface tension

Silver-black mirror water. Smooth. Moon-lit. My hand rocks against the surface. It presses down lightly for a moment, gentle and reflexive. Then breaks to one side and slips just below. A peninsula of me, with water lapping ashore.

And my mind is a still, lucid reservoir too, only part-stirred by a thought - I should have come here more often.


Now tiny tides roll as my arm subtly retracts and extends, and my wrist wavers and resolves; aiming for equilibrium.

I suppose it was predictable that I would feel like this. I’ve been travelling since dawn, head full of static and obstructions. And as we cut out from the sealed road to the logging track, it was like a series of internal obstacles started to crack and cleave away.

Now I breathe in, breathe out, and deep, petrified layers are gone; splitting and splintering off with ease.

Plunging up to my elbow, the cool wet quickens my pulse. My consciousness retracts. I’m all sensation, with full focus on the tingling, soft-chilling of the water. A rush of breath slips in past my lips. And then out. And a floating cloud-column, a fog-spirit, momentarily veils my view, rises, then clears.


The deeper we travelled the more effortless it felt. And now this is like washing sins - but without judgement. Or like sending signals that are instantly acknowledged and returned; retrieved, somehow, from within. And it is almost effortless. Almost.

I suspect that evolution has taught me lessons I can’t forget. I’m unable to think these feelings - that the dense complexity feels vital, that the opaque silence outside is present inside too - but I can still sense my thoughts. They are a pale shiver-texture on a clear, shifting skin. They are decades worth of lived ideas. They are exchanges from the days now gone. And they tell me something without speaking. They keep me in check - even when un-checking is my aim - so that, despite how far I have come, they still bound and still define. They are context beyond perspective. A background surface tension; difficult to break through.


So I draw back my arm and don’t even let the water settle. I press feet into ground, roll over hips and curve spine, tilt shoulders, and slip through the surface.

I dive in. Immersed as if in a black crystal ball. Clear, yet near-dark. Like floating in a starless night sky; skin sensing, soft gliding, buoyant, not falling.

Time is not suspended, but stretched, as I submerge. An obtuse calm. Space is warped out to a new fullness that I feel here, now.


You’ve taken longer than I thought you would. And as you step to the bank I stay sound and still, head bobbing above the stirred, soft-glass pane, watching as you lower your hand to feel the gentle movement of the water.

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