I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sinking and swimming and leaping and moving on and standing still and … well, you get the point. And reading this post, by the magnificent Judy Clement Wall, made me (as usual) think about events in life that we all face to some extent. We are all bound together in this life by love and loss and death and belonging. It’s what we do at the denouement that separates us, really. I like to think that I’m leaping and moving and continuing, but sometimes I wonder. I wonder if using the words… writing them or speaking them or thinking them is all I’ve been doing.
Sinking can be scary. When you quit struggling or quit attempting or just quit… that’s it, you sink. And you can’t breathe and you can’t move and you can’t hear or feel or think. And then, there in the sinking, you find a moment’s peace — when you can’t hear or feel or think and you take a deep cleansing breath. And your lungs suddenly expand with the want of more and you softly float back up and peek out from under the wreckage. And in that moment, the sinking becomes pure ecstasy. And you wonder why you were afraid to sink at all.
Swimming can be scary. You realize you’re going under and you jump in to avoid it — to avoid the crash. And you can see the distant shore of a friend or a loved one and you hope you have the strength to make it there… to make it to them. And it hurts to breathe because you’re struggling so hard and you become tired and you become scared at reaching them at all because what if they don’t realize how far you just swam. But then a hand reaches out and you feel the warmth of the connection and your pulse intensifies and you breathe deep and cover the remaining distance like you were made for this… like it was easy all along. And you wonder why you were afraid to swim at all.
Sink or swim.
I choose neither. I choose both. There is balance in both. There is connection in both. There can be vital life affirming outcomes reached… as long as you don’t remain steadfast in the sinking or hell-bent on the swimming. As long as you realize when you’ve reached that point, the point when it’s time to move again, the point when it’s time to stand still, the point when it’s time to shift, the point when it’s time to breathe.
Sink or Swim.
You don’t need a third option — the best two options are there for you… waiting for you to take a chance, waiting for you to decide… waiting for you to sink or swim or both. We pass through this life and we find the others that were made for us… the ones we were supposed to find — the ones that bring us the missing pieces to the puzzle. And when we find them, we realize why we took another breath when we thought our lungs were done. We realize why we kept swimming when we thought our hearts could beat no more. We realize we’re here… connected by the need to rise up from under the wreckage and swim for the shore.
Picture from Kind Over Matter