Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Treading Water

The ocean...I crave it. The delicious tang in the air that teases my tongue with memories of salty sweet taffy, the resounding crash of the surf against rock and golden sand, the endless cerulean blue soothes me. Perhaps this urge to loose myself in the rhythms of the waves is merely part of my soul, an amniotic reflex... Perhaps it's deeper than that.

Water itself is the absolute--life cannot exist desiccant. It's our chemical make-up, the strength of our bones, the scent of our hair, the texture of our skin. Who can deny the healing powers of a steamy bath at the end of a taxing day? The invigorating rush of a shower to rinse away the night...the sensuality that awakens as the heated caress of a hot tub surrounds our thighs...

And so it comes as no surprise that my favorite view of life, my inspiration, is the sea. A vast aquatic pulsing ocean that we live within. Sometimes we swim desperately for our lives, thrashing against reason and tide. Sometimes we float on tropical rafts with frothy cocktails sporting jaunty umbrellas.

Some have a definite destination; long smooth strokes propel them purposefully toward their goal. Others flounder about, knocking over rafts and banging into fellow swimmers causing conflict, confusion. A few struggle, doggy paddling...barely keeping their heads above water.

Some drown.

Me? I'm treading water.

My muscles are on fire, aching. I've had several months at a frenetic pace--pushing myself beyond comfort zones, tearing tendons, stretching muscles as well as preconceived notions. I'm weary...
A pause. A rest.

Lift my head, still my limbs. I tried floating but the sky was so brilliant, the lull of the waves so tender, my eyes fluttered...sleep so seductive.

The sea is not a place for naps.

So I tread. Considering....taking stock of distant land masses. Watching the clouds for signs of of a storm. The black underbelly of cumulus entities that herald perilous winds and treacherous waters. I can see others all about me, their own struggles...triumphs and joys...doubts. I wonder if they know how fatigued I am. Can they see the muscle spasms beneath the glittery blue surface? Perhaps I need to head for shore...stretch out and work the knots from my back, the kinks in my sinews. Life is more than the expenditure of force.

For now....considering options....treading water.


steelxmagnolia said...

Sometimes we need a sweet breather. To be lulled and coddled by the warm waters. So, Chantel, relax and enjoy the calm. Re-energize. It is a most rewarding time. Enjoy the tranquility. There is always time to boogy again. Cheers!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Oh yes, I like this version a lot. Definitely sounds like you need to hide out, rest, and get re-energized. Take good care of yourself!

Debbie(single;complicated) said...

I could relate alot to really spoke to me and was beautifully written!

Therese said...

As always, I love your words. Don't forget about life rafts! Sometimes we have to make our own, while other times we can indulge in the luxury of one designed by another, just for us.
Let those muscles rest. After a deserved and necessary rest, muscles that have had to push too hard show their new strength.

Take Care.

Danielle said...

I am treading right along side of you. Someday we will be able to swim beautifuly back to shore and rest!

Jessica said...

Perhaps it's time to be reborn a mermaid; look at your world through different eyes, see life from a new unexpected angle. Maybe life is telling you it's time for change.
What happens if you give in to "what if" or "I wonder"?

Sometimes we're so busy swimming we forget why we jumped in the ocean in the first place.

Terresa said...

Treading water is OK. I think there are chunks of time where I am doing the same. Not even just hours, but days or weeks, even, treading water and trying to keep my head out of the rushing water.

The sea is a great metaphor for life.

Chantel said...

SteelMagnolia--spring is great for tranquility; somehow after all the cold, you can just sit and watch the sunshine...

Bliss--thank you and I will, wish you were my grandma!

Debbie--thank you so much, sometimes it just helps to know someone else is doing the same...

Therese--"After a deserved and necessary rest, muscles that have had to push too hard show their new strength." What a lovely way to look at it...I will think on this.

Danielle--it is so good to have company!

Jessica--I think I spent half my childhood dreaming of being a mermaid! "Sometimes we're so busy swimming we forget why we jumped in the ocean in the first place" is an entirely different path I hadn't considered going down...I love it.

Terresa--the soil has thawed. I can hear the birds. And spring means that my studio has warmed. I need to dive into my painting now...perhaps leave writing behind for a bit. Head for new waters. Sometimes I fear I create the tumultuous waves in my mind.

Considering taking a vow of silence for a season...

Lola Sharp said...

Oh Chantel, I know you've been very busy lately, and I know you've hinted that things are crazy right now. But after reading this beautifully written post (incredible imagery, my love), I find I'm worried about you.

I've missed you.

I was very sick last week and in bed, off the computer for most of last week. This was my first time getting back over here to visit you in... too long, and here you are, treading water. I shall keep you in my thoughts this week, stomping a give you little comments of happiness, be your virtual life raft.

May I suggest those frothy drinks you mentioned, while you paint.


Lola Sharp said...

I just stopped by to check in on you, say hello, let you know I'm thinking of you.


Flo said...

Fine writing there, woman! Can't believe you live only two hours north of our home (log cabin) near Deep Creek Lake.

Chantel said...

Lola--you're a lifeline in my ocean.

Flo--SO good to see you! And Deep Creak is lovely!