Our greatest strength is our inner strength. Our resilience and our ability to adapt. We have the capacity to shift and allow an evolution to occur.
Change isn’t easy.
We worry. We wonder. We think deeply about consequences.
Ultimately life must be a bright colorful journey. We have to be brave enough to fail at something new. There are no guarantees. We don’t need them.
Our inherent and overwhelming desire to be free. Our passion and instinct to explore. We are born with an insatiable curiosity and from our first step to our last breath life is a constant leap of faith. So plunge in. Ignore the naysayers and go for it. With everything you have…
Dedication: “Living” is a painting of my dear friend Graham Johnston. Graham died in July of 2019 at the age of 88. He was my dear friend. In the moment of my greatest need and when my world was crumbling, he was there for me. He was always there for me. Graham was an Olympian (Helsinki 1952), a world record holder in the Masters Swimming program and an inductee into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame. He was also so much more. A true friend who loved life, Graham took a bold and giant leap of faith every day. He loved life. I miss you Graham. Rest In Peace.
The ecstasy of being momentarily alone. A brief interlude of silent reciprocity between what was… and what is still to come. I feel joy. I feel sadness. Never in equal amounts. To be alive is to be vulnerable. To risk. I draw my courage from the power and pull of the ocean’s pulse. I blissfully absorb the perpetual warmth of the sun. I am calm. At peace. Confident. And ready to risk everything. Again.
Life’s pause. The moment when you stop everything and stand silent and still. Sometimes our deepest reflections are by choice. Sometimes the choice is made for us. My intermission was unexpected. A pivotal moment when I realized that there are no certain paths for any of us; simply a vast ocean expanse and a warm sun. My moment of courage. I can remain still or put my face back in the water and swim on. That is the only real choice we ever make. To move forward or slide back. To go on or to give up. I will swim. Forever.
Swimming rejuvenates me. It restores my essence, invigorates my soul. As I pull smoothly through the water I exchange cacophony for calm; the turbulence of everyday life is transformed. I swim hard, rewarded with a quiet mind and a connection to like-minded strangers who become lifelong friends. Swimmers bond, water is a way of life, our source of joy.
Dedication: When I look at my painting titled Swimming I think of my friend Taryn. It is actually a painting of her. Great friendships are impossible to define. Words simply aren’t equal to the task, and in the end actions always speak loudest.
Swimming for me is pure joy. It transcends my sadness and it lifts my soul.
Water is my refuge. When the world is still I can hear it, when I close my eyes I can feel it. I return to water again and again and always emerge renewed.
I stand. Defiant, alone, all of nature about to storm. I stand in water and I fear naught.
The ocean’s unconquerable roar. It excites me and I hear the words of Invictus*—“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”
Life comes at me in waves. It overwhelms me. Their force stops me momentarily. Then I face it, pivot and joyfully ride high the crest. The ocean is an expression of my outpouring emotion–sometimes turbulent, sometimes completely still.
Suffocated by fury, drowning in my recovery, I burst through the surface of the sea and in this moment I escape. I am free.
Waves are infinite, but life is temporary. In this moment I am the rock—strong, indifferent, unyielding.
We plunge rapidly through air and we often solidly stand our ground, but only in water do we drift. Unmoored, free from desire, the ocean tempts me to dream and drift away.
Longing is the undertow of our emotions. It pulls us back to simpler times. The ocean pulls on me and I long to laugh in love.
On land gravity pulls us down. In the ocean I’m buoyant. When I float I’m free.