Sunday, May 23, 2010

Freestyle swimming

So... it is back to SoCal. How many times do I have to visit this former home in a year before the “former” descriptor fades to inaccuracy? It is nice to catch this subtropical winter’s false spring and its early spring’s false summer, but the suitcases carry only so much life, and I am reticent to become a gypsy. I would still be sifted out of much of what goes on here so that should the designation “former” fade there would be a zombieland of time before I would see it as “home” again.

Perhaps I could pick up some of the lapsed friendships and acquaintances and get a head-start building the cage of connections that would make me feel safe. Now, with the freedom of both space and time, I am exposed and vulnerable. If my freedom guided me I would end up outside of the SoCal megacity. The roads on the map all merge together and leave here. When I lived here I would often leave and call it going someplace, now if I left I would simply be someplace when I stopped to rest.

One of the last times I spent a full week in SoCal I discovered a dead possum while running. The body was tucked into the shade of a short landscape coifed bush. Possums are known for pretending to be dead in order to avoid danger. This possum looked like it was pretending to be asleep in order to avoid death. Some small hand had gathered several bunches of rough yellow flowers and had arraigned them around the lounging corpse.

The possum had pretended to be dead while alive; pretending as it did so that it could avoid death. A child had apparently comforted the possum’s corpse; pretending as it did that it knew the possum while it lived. The possum had passed from living its own fantasy to existing as the focus of another’s.

Lonely as the megacity is; I am never alone here. The chop-chop of helicopters and whining sirens play above a background harmony of constant activity. Bearings fail, belts wear out, and people grow old; each generates a buzzing sound that never stops. People float in and out of their own focus. So many rooms have TV, and so much TV is shot in SoCal, that someone could be watching what they could see outside their own front door. The TV takes the outside world, livens it up, sanitizes it, and projects it back for us to live in more comfortably.

Back in December of last year I had a plan for confronting SoCal that worked. It involved a half-marathon and long runs on a sunset lit beach. The prospect of a full week in SoCal drives me to plan again. I have a plan for this trip as well though it is not as well defined.  Perhaps I should try more swimming?
Swimming is riskier than running. Weather shuts it down pretty fast. However, it is much more engaging. With a mask, snorkel, and wetsuit I blend into the water.

The running worked because it got me out onto the actual surface of SoCal. I felt the freedom of not being caged instead of just the vulnerability. The idea of swimming is to get soaked in SoCal wetness. The concept is that it will be more effective than just skimming the surface.

If the Weather does not cooperate I can always run. Running works.



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