Monday, August 30, 2010

Hello darling. I'm feeling a bit vampiric myself at the moment, up in the aerie with the shades drawn against the hot sun. Very hot again today but comfortable in the house. I've had a very pleasant day, really nice sense of physical well-being. I wonder if it's because I went swimming. I had the car all day (what a sense of freedom just knowing I had it, even though I didn't go anywhere in the afternoon). I thought about going to Lake Taghkanic for a swim, then remembered about the swimming hole just a couple of miles up the road from me. So I went there. It's a lovely site, and I swam at the foot of (though at a distance) a waterfall that for all its power and might empties into a still, perfectly pacific pond, a topographical rest-stop, this caesura a circumscribed circle but with a crevice that lets out to a resumption of creek, flat rocks and gathering rapids, and what I know to be, on the other side of a bridge, highly dramatic falls over steep boulders and rocks.

(I think of Beethoven perhaps, or Chopin, inspired perhaps by a landscape such as this, composing a movement that comprises violent paroxysms, followed by an idyllic lull before gathering energy to gallop off again - a piece of music that I would not be able to play on piano, too difficult - that's what that little bit of landscape where I was is like - a line as dramatic and varied yet flowing and connected as that.)

I was there by myself. The water was cold and I took my time going in. The air smelled beautifully (though unaccountably) salty, of the sea, and (traveling in my mind like E.D.) for a moment I could persuade myself that the waterfall was visually reminiscent of a rocky Maine coast or of a wild Hawaiian beach and as I waded in the water up to my knees, then hips, waist, then more northerly highly sensitive regions I braced myself and took the plunge and after a few moments grew used to the temperature. And then I just sort of swam, moved my body, more or less in place - because in a lap tentatively attempted I suddenly found myself grounded - in the middle of the pond - the underwater terrain is very uneven - deep in places so I can't stand then, suddenly - shoals at the surface.

I thought of Thoreau - "the pond is earth's eye" - the pond was encircled with trees, I its elated pupil, and I felt altogether (decently trim and toned body in a one-piece suit, hair pinned up in a clip, long arms skimming about, legs vanished beneath opaque gray) the mythic nymph, swimming about on a hot lazy summer day. (Mad Men Don Draper's romantic type, I thought, this lunchtime Monday afternoon.)

A shiny big-ass pickup truck with tinted windows pulled into the park, then turned around and left in a cloud of dust when they saw another car there (mine). A few minutes later the pickup returned and parked in a shaded glade off to the side. The passenger side opened and a young man got out and went to the other side of the cab, disappeared from view. Eventually I started to feel cold so I emerged from the water (losing my equilibrium on slippery rocks - this mermaid felt she was about to slip and fall in no more than a foot of water), made my way back to the car, and drove up the gravel parking lot, past the pickup whose front cab was now empty and yet I believe the rear cab was ever so pleasantly occupied. Sigh. I know, a bit sordid - unless you're there. Such a perfect day for lovemaking out of doors, I could not blame anyone one bit. What if the world were organized for pleasures such as that, I thought. The pickup was designed in a certain way - I know nothing of pickups - but it did seem to have this handy rear cab - were Detroit designers thinking what I'm thinking?

It's supposed to be a "family beach" and I'm all for that and it's not entirely seemly for a woman to swim by herself the way I did, not ever, not now or in Greek myth days. I took a plunge. In between the two times that the lovelorn pickup ventured for love to the parking lot, a contractor on break in his elaborately signaged flat-sided truck also came by. I was a little nervous, but I had started this - I was the nymph in the waves. He got out of the truck, we waved hello, he clambered up the rocks and admired the beautiful waterfall, the beautiful day, maybe even the idea that in the middle of a pond - he, on shore, unless he's willing to get really, really cold - a mythic woman whose name he doesn't know and never will, who doesn't call his name, has no interest in him, exists nonetheless, and might one day, in some form, for him.


Must attend to roasting chicken and beautiful butternut squash now, darling. I love you.

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