Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Open, Deep Places

Tonight I am up late. I've been cooking quite a lot and picked up one of my dearest friends from the airport at 9:45PM, in from San Francisco. Then cooked some more.

CK is down in Sacramento and I miss her. I know I've written something like this before. I remember being aware of missing her when she was home in July, but this feels different. She has commented noticing the same thing. How she didn't feel this way even just a couple of weeks ago.

Over the past few weeks our relationship has moved into a new place. In trying to put my mind to it the place it seems as though we have lost some of the urgency that is felt during a new relationship. In the place of the insistent sensations of want and uncertainty there is a feeling like moving into a deep, open space.

Another memory of swimming, this came to mind while thinking about the more open place my relationship with CK is now --

Before my third year of college I was teaching swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and synchronized swimming at a girls camp in central Oregon. On a day off I hiked over the ridge from the camp to a small lake a couple of miles away. The day was tremendously hot and the sun bright in a dark blue sky. There was no one else at the lake, I walked all the way around it and there was not another person to be seen. The water was still, dark and clear.

In the quiet I slid out of my clothing and slipped, naked into the cool water of the lake. Not my usual behavior, but I felt entirely at ease. My inspection of the shore, the other trails leading to the lake, had left me feeling safe to just enjoy the water alone.

I did breaststroke out several feet from shore, using a very causal, quiet form as to not break the silence. Then I floated, gazing up at the sky, pine trees at the edges. It was so quiet. Nothing but a slight breeze, an occasional bird, and the sound of lake water against my ears.

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