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12

October


Waterblogged. Wednesday October 12, 2016

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...

Ten lengths.

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.

Ten more.

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.

Ten.

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.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Anthea Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 7:05am

Thank you Mary for a wonderfully evocative blog post. I was there with you as I read it, hanging on your well-chosen words - those unruly swimmers who push and shove through the pool doors ! Horrid.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 9:41pm

Indeed Anthea. For those of us who relish our solitude, to have it broken is desecration.

LP Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 7:36am

Yes, thanks for such a beautifully written blog, I could visualise your swim and your thoughts. A wonderfully accurate description of how the mind can flow from the here and now, to other people, places and imaginary worlds. the here and now can be abrasive as you described and I guess the trick ( for me) would be to keep an inner peace and continue to glide through it with strong smooth strokes. Wonderful, Thank you Mary. :) Peaceful wishes to all LP xx

Salt Water Mum Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 8:23am

What a beautiful blog to read this morning, thank you Mary.

I think water keeps me sane too. The sea (in summer), the pool (when I can, in winter) and when there's no time between kids and work, I have a lot of baths and showers!

They say too much bathing is not good for the skin but it sure is good for my head!

SWM x

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 9:43pm

We must remember that once, we all swam in the sea. Once we were single cell organisms. Once life was simpler. Swimming is a way to connect, even remotely, to that simplicity... (and get fit at the same time; a two for one whammy - always good!)

the room above the garage Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 8:41am

Beautiful! Anything the same...everyday...will get us there. I wish you many more empty pool times, such s treat, love ratg x.

Andrew Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 8:48am

Wow - Where can I get hold of one of your novels - a beautifully descriptive and imaginative blog! I often think of blog subjects when running or swimming - it gives the mind a chance to wander free, skipping through thoughts at often breakneck speed (and alwaysa a lot faster than my running or swimming!) until eventually settling on an idea that sometimes takes root and starts to develop...
Your words are wonderfully crafted, polished and perfectly set in place - thank you - Keep swimming!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 9:47pm

Alas, Andrew, my novels are lighthearted romps so far, although the current one does have more depth. My genre does not allow for much word-smithing. I try to pop the occasional nugget in, but story always needs to move fast and whisk the reader along with it. These blogs are pure indulgence for me. I am so glad they are appreciated!

Sophie Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 8:57am

This will be me tonight when I go for my weekly swim! I go as late as I can, knowing it will be a bit busy when I arrive but by the end I'll be one of just a few left in the pool, just how I like it. I too count my lengths in sets of ten. I even bought a new costume and goggles at the weekend and have been practicing breathing underwater in the bath ha!

Thank you for a lovely blog to start my day, I'm looking forward to my swim even more now :)

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 9:47pm

I hope you enjoyed it. I assume you will just be finishing now.

g Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 11:23am

it is weird how habits develop and stop to give way to new once not necessarily as healthy and good for us as the old once. i used to swim and attend sauna daily for years and once I stopped I stopped altogether. broken boiler and long wait for parts would be an incentive enough any time before whereas now just to save time I boil kettles of water and wash in a few big bowls instead of making this trip . if only I could go for a short time ! all or nothing personality requires of me the whole or at least a half a day once I get there and although it is not far I would consider it a waste of time to go just for a quick swim and a wash . I am used to sitting in the sauna for hours except I do not remember the last time any more.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 9:48pm

I hope you rediscover the joy of sauna, g!

g Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 11:27am

the poetry of Your writing put me straight inside Your head . thoughts are such a private unknown and not compareable territory . thank you for the glimpse of Your soul Mary.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 9:51pm

Again, I thank you. I love Moodscope because I can bear my soul to you all and you cherish it rather than deriding it. I am grateful to you all.

Mark Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 12:42pm

Just stunningly written with depth and vibrancy - you are a gem to be forever polished. Hugs Mark

Sophie Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 1:38pm

What a lovely comment!

Sophie Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 1:38pm

What a lovely comment!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 9:40pm

Mark - I am lost for words! Just thank you will have to suffice.

Brum Mum Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 2:20pm

I can't wait to read your novel. Sumptuous imagery and such an eloquent description of your meditation journey. Thank you x

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 10:12pm

See reply to Andrew's comment. I fear you will be disappointed. But - just as soon as they are released on Amazon I will let people know.

Another Sally Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 2:31pm

Hi Mary, thank you for such wonderful imagery. I too swim and enjoy the meditative feel it has. I am fortunate to be able to use an open air pool in summer and often have it to myself, but become the end of this month I will have to return to the public baths and the frustration of too many people round me.
I will try to keep your images with me to keep me sane.
Take care. Another Sally

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 10:13pm

Oh, I love open air swimming...

Melanie Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 3:01pm

You are a brilliant writer Mary! Thank you! So apt for me as after a year or so I have just rediscovered my love of swimming and been 2x plus a sauna after! LOL

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 10:13pm

Thank you Melanie. Rather you in the sauna than I... too hot for me and people invariably start talking to me and telling me their entire life story!

Duma Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 4:32pm

Hi Mary.

Nice bit of descriptive prose, upping the disconnect from reality, line by line. As you describe your 'getting into it'.

Nice way to start the day, thanks!

Duma, out.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 10:14pm

Appreciate it Duma!

Lexi Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 10:19pm

Mary, your writing is exquisite. We were just talking about Jeanette Winterson yesterday. You give her a run for her money. Just beautiful. xo Lexi

S Wed, Oct 12th 2016 @ 10:24pm

Lovely, thanks Mary, Sxx

Eva Thu, Oct 13th 2016 @ 7:24am

I love the solitude of an empty pool, maybe you might consider writing a different kind of book that allows you to glory in the descriptive, from your blog I'd love to read some more. No pressure ;)

Andrew Thu, Oct 13th 2016 @ 1:30pm

hear hear!

Orangeblossom Thu, Oct 13th 2016 @ 12:53pm

Thanks for the blog Mary. I found it a compelling read which I have just read. Day late. I may well re-read it as I found it very thought proving.

Nicco Tue, Oct 18th 2016 @ 4:25pm

What a lovely blog, Mary. Your images are wonderful. You have now given me a lovely way to enjoy my twice weekly swim which had become a bit of a chore - I don't do well with lots of people and noise. I was lucky enough to have the pool to myself once and it was so peaceful. Thanks again.

Deborah Mon, Nov 7th 2016 @ 4:08pm

This is so beautiful, and so appreciated. Thank you, Mary!

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