Saturday 22 May 2010

Longing for a swimming pool (and a quote from Moby Dick)

It is hot here, enough to feel that it is a heatwave. I don't know if it is accurate, but it certainly feels like it. Days like this one makes me long for the old family swimming pool. I haven't had a dip in one in years and I sorely miss the feeling of water surrounding me in a hot day like this one. The worst thing is that there are some public swimming pool around here, but I have never really visited them. I need new swimming trunks anyway. I guess it could be the weekend's activity: find some swimming trunks, then find a pool.

As I once said here, swimming is one of the few sports at which I am naturally good at. Not great, but I can do more than float, I can dive, I can crawl and I can hold my breath for long enough in the water. So My Haitian aunt once told me that swimming is not a real sport. She had such contempt with water and fittingly enough she couldn't swim. Ironic as she came from an island. But she was wrong, I think: swimming is probably one of the best, healthiest physical activity, as it is a complete one. It is also a pleasant activity, maybe this is why my aunt said it couldn't be a sport.

I mentioned last year that I have some kind of love story with water and sea life. Maybe not like Ishmael in Moby Dick, but I have always been fascinated by it. And I associate sea life with the many afternoons spent in the family swimming pool. Talking about Moby Dick, there is a quote from the novel that sums up perfectly my longing for a swimming pool: " The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself." There, I just quoted what is maybe the greatest American novel (maybe even the greatest novel in English) in a post about a tank with chlorinated water! I just shocked myself. But the quote explains what I am feeling right now: one can enjoy warmth when one knows cold, the reverse is also true: feeling cool is pleasant when one knows how unpleasant hot can be. I don't like heatwaves and hot weathers much in and by themselves. A hot day can quickly become unbearable. I have only really appreciated hot summer days in a swimming pool.

Last note: the picture was taken at the Vancouver Aquarium.

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