Bliss. Oh, this is bliss! The pool is empty. There is no one here but I.
I have it all to myself.
That moment: that moment standing poised on the edge, mistress of the water, before diving in? That moment is the magic.
I can be anyone and anything. The tiled walls fade away, replaced by green rushes. Chlorine becomes the sharp scent of waterweed. I am a water vole; I am Ratty. My brown head moves smoothly on the silver surface of the river, leaving a sharp V behind, a reflection of the geese skein flying above...
A turn at the end and the inland water becomes the wild Atlantic as my sleek seal's body twists in the foamy spray under clear Hebridean skies...
But my solitude has ended. People push and smack through doors, their voices an avalanche of dry and broken bones. Ratty and the Selkie shimmer and wink out. The pool water becomes choppy and unpredictable. I attempt to lose myself in its movement and sounds.
That lace shimmer, brushes on cymbals. That slap, a turquoise bolt of silk shaken out with a snap. That deep aquamarine Gollum gulp. These are the sounds which surround me.
So I think of those I love and hold them up to the Universe. I think of Raz with his beautiful mind, generous heart, forged iron will and ice-axe tongue. I think of the benevolent hurricane that is my son and the fragile spun crystal and rainbows girl who is still in his heart but no longer in his life. I think of the comfortable rock of my husband, the quiet intensity and spiky rebelliousness of my daughters. I think of the titanium fox Richard; quick-witted, fleet of foot, always ready to turn on the demons running, baying, at his heels.
Another ten lengths. I focus on the ache in my shoulders and back and arms; on the tingling in my fingers as they sweep through water again and again.
My current novel is set in Orkney. I think of my hero, attempting to escape his weaknesses and his past, only to find that both pursue him. I watch him while he looks for the courage he never knew he had, beyond the cowardice he always feared was his. I think of his lady, with her steadfast heart and pragmatic loyalty. I will test her soon, when he tells her everything he has done. I worry that even her generosity will not cope with his dark past. It is dark indeed. He has done some terrible things. And he has shied away from worse things; thus concluding he is a coward.
And I think of my Moodscope blog. I start to weave the words; the words you have just read. I seek and capture each one, craft it into shape, polish it and set it in place.
Ten more lengths and out.
My morning meditation.
I'm sure it keeps me sane.
A Moodscope member.