I don't recall exactly when it happened, but I do remember how --
one evening our coach had us swim sets of sprints,
each twenty-five yards in length, eight times.
I'm neither the strongest nor the fastest swimmer in
our group, but those sprints set a fire inside me that does
not go out. I look forward to them, and I look for them on
our workout schedule; I've gone from dutifully showing up for
our sessions and trying to accomplish the tasks assigned
to me, to working a tiny bit harder each time.
I've joked that if our coach were to show up at my door
at 3 a.m. to tell me I was to go swim the whole thing over,
I'd do it happily because I want to do it again. And again.
It feels good, it energizes me, it's good for me.
I've set a goal of what I want to accomplish, feeling as
though it is something I can really do, if I work hard.
For the past few weeks, I've gone early to watch
other people swim, making sketches and taking photos.
I look at the sparkle of the water as the swimmers
churn its surface into sequins and foam, and find it stimulating.
I am trying to find a way to record the moving bodies as
they pass before me, one that shows the flow of the water
as they move through it, yet at the same time gives the viewer
some sense of the human form. I want the realism of the magic I see,
of the way the scene makes me feel, but without
the mundane recording of a photograph.
Is it possible that I will ever be able to convey this scene,
to show the fire that water has set?