lift

For photrablogger’s Mundane Monday #109. I took this photograph in 2011. This is a solo synchronized swimming routine. She lifts her legs out of the water to dance above it, while her arms are keeping her in place, lifted, against gravity,, never touching the bottom or the wall. Only the girl and the water and held breath and arms controlling the position and legs following the music and the lift…. it is not actually mundane, is it?

joy

This photograph is from 2011. The Synchronized Swimming competitions took an enormous amount of time and work for the girls and work for the parents. And the coaches and the people who held the meets and judges. I am looking through photos and the girls had such fun together, older and younger, beautiful teamwork and joy.

On a rock

And who is this on the rock? We are facing north, on the beach walk from North Beach to Cape George. We are looking across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Vancouver Island.

According to the Cape George website, it’s 6.5 miles from Port Townsend. However, that may be by map or road or as the crow flies. My phone claims that I walked for 5 hours and 47 minutes. I had the location turned off, so it does not include distance.

 

Z is for zest

Z is for zest. What do you feel zest for?

The photograph is our small town synchronized swim team in 2007 at the Blossom, the last meet of the season that we went to that year. Our girls posed outside where it was very chilly, and all of the exited parents snapped photographs. Zest on both sides for the team and for swimming!

Webster 1913 here
Zest (?), n. F. zeste, probably fr. L. schistos split, cleft, divided, Gr. , from to split, cleave. Cf. Schism.

1. A piece of orange or lemon peel, or the aromatic oil which may be squeezed from such peel, used to give flavor to liquor, etc.

2. Hence, something that gives or enhances a pleasant taste, or the taste itself; an appetizer; also, keen enjoyment; relish; gusto.
Almighty Vanity! to thee they owe Their zest of pleasure, and their balm of woe. Young.
Liberality of disposition and conduct gives the highest zest and relish to social intercourse. Gogan.

3. The woody, thick skin inclosing the kernel of a walnut. Obs.

Z

from Dictionary.com here:

noun
1. keen relish; hearty enjoyment; gusto.
2. an agreeable or piquant flavor imparted to something.
3. anything added to impart flavor, enhance one’s appreciation, etc.
4. piquancy; interest; charm.
5. liveliness or energy; animating spirit.
6. the peel, especially the thin outer peel, of a citrus fruit used for flavoring:
lemon zest.

verb (used with object)
7.to give zest, relish, or piquancy to.

Zest for life, zest for writing, zest for all of the A to Z feelings that I’ve written about in the 7 sins and friends and all of the feelings that I haven’t written about. They are all part of being human! And now: zest for breakfast, I’m hungry!

Hooray for finishing and hooray for everyone who participated whether they finished or not!

Sink

Sink

I tried for a long time but now I am back in the water. My tail is back. I am so happy with it that for 20 minutes I just swim and dive and play with my own tail, chasing it. I am ready, strong again. I call my people and the waves.

I tried awfully hard on land. I hid the knife that my sisters bought. He married the other one and kept me in the little building in the garden. Everyone knew including her, it was normal for them. She didn’t enjoy his tidal pull, his pounding, the waves. It gave me so much joy. I sang without my tongue. My tongue was not cut out, that is a myth, one of those stories. It’s just that that is how they like the women: voiceless. Silent. Obedient. Admiring. Wounded: oh, he would kiss the poor feet, mangled jangled feet that I am forced to wear on land.

All for love. But: she had children. Three. And I watched as he treated the males as princes and ignored the girl. Mere princess, valueless, to be trained for a strategic wedding. Added value for the land, a pawn in training. She found me. And I pitied her and raised her and told her tales of my home, where people are people, not a gender. Not raised as a separate species.

She disobeyed and her father had her beaten, only where it would not show, and locked up. Bread and water. Cold and cruelty. And suddenly my love was slain. It was as if I was awakened and looked about and saw his cruelty to women and to his wife and his daughter and to me. I was a toy, an amusement, loved only if I kept silent and was crippled by my feet.

I rose and called the waves. The land flooded and the castle was broken and I reached the little princess in time to change her, to give her a tail too.

She is so surprised: in the water. She keeps trying to go up and breathe air and it chokes her. She swims in wild panicky circles, choking on the air, as I drag her out from the castle.

Now we are in the sea and the waters recede, full of broken bodies. Male bodies. I changed every woman I could find and the children if they were young enough and the girls. I called my family, my people. They came and each grabbed one, to drag towards the sea. The ex-humans fight and cough and wail and cry, but we drag them.

And now we sink, each holding one. We sink into the depths. They hold their breath, fighting, but we are so used to our tails and are stronger. And one by one they let the air go and breathe: and breathe the ocean. Breathe. We are entering the dark and the phosphorescent fishes come to see.

Soon we will be home. Just a little further into the ink black: sink.

 

I took the photograph in 2012 at the Pacific Northwest Synchronized Swimming Regionals. This is a young team routine with eight swimmers. These two are each lifted by three teammates, using only swimming, never touching bottom……

 

Sea of Love

I go in the sea
of dreams
open the chest
the trunk
the saddlebags
Empty the dirty laundry
Of emotion
On the floor
Grief and joy
Fear and hope
Mine
All mine

There is a place
Beyond words
I see you in that place
It is very old
And very young
It is so frightening to go there
Lose words
The first time
It is haunted and hunted
Are you aware
Of that place
Do you go there
Of your own volition?
Or do you struggle
Fight and suffer in the
Choppy boundary between air and water
Fear drowning
Water surrounds you
Above you too
You are in the wordless place
Over your head
Are you too deep?

Open your eyes
In the green water light
A mermaid waits to lead you
To a rope to a raft
And me

But first you must open your eyes

 

I did not take this photo: it was taken at the Weyerhaeuser Pool in Seattle in 2009 at the National Junior Synchronized Swimming Competition. The professional photographer asked our girls to jump in so that he could get some practice shots from the underwater window. No one else was allowed down to that window. My daughter was in her third year of synchro and already so comfortable in the water that she and the others just mugged and played….

First published on everything2.com.

The Honeydrippers: Sea of Love