Moment of Inertia

Sensory deprivation of sorts.  Maximizing pleasurable sensations to deny less pleasant sensations. Floating, floating, floating…

A long weekend visiting my sister, T, in Florida. I brought The Boy along for a little rest and relaxation – he’d been working hard at his job for over a year without time off. He was out on the boat chasing big fishies with T’s partner, The Captain.  T was in her office, posting grades for her graduate class.

i was in the pool, sprawled on a raft. My face covered with a hat to prevent further sun damage.  i let the sunscreen do the work on my appendages. Warm to the bone.  It would have been downright hot if i didn’t have my hands, feet and arse dunked in the cool salt water beneath me.

Floating, floating, floating… Warm in the sun, cooler when a cloud happened to get between us. Bouncing like a slow-motion pinball when i’d hit the edge. Spinning a little, with assistance from the gentle breeze.  Somewhat Brownian motion.

In that moment, i could account for the well-being of the people who occupy a substantial portion of my brain space.  Mom?  Glimmer of hope regarding the home renovation, now in the fourth year.  Her health? Shitty, but stable.  The Girl?  Doing well with her new job, and surrounded by good people.  The Boy?  On a boat, chasing fish on the ocean.  Studley?  On the same boat, sharing the adventure and chasing fish.  My sister, T?  Settled comfortably in life with her partner, The Captain, after a fairly difficult run last summer.

In that moment.

Eyes covered.  i let the sun warm me, and the water cool me, and the wind spin me slowly around the pool.  My frame of reference was skewed – “am i facing the house, or the waterway?”  Absolutely certain that i’d echo-located the sound of the central air compressor, i knew the house was to my left.  Peeking from under the hat that covered my face, i was surprised to be pointed squarely toward the waterway.

i played this game over and over.  The sound of the yard man’s leaf blower from across the canal.  Confident that i’d kept track of the source of the sound as i slowly careened across the surface of the pool.  Another peek.  Another failure.  Floating, floating, floating…

The game kept me squarely in that moment.  No need to drive away dark thoughts and worry about what lies ahead.  The sun was warm.  The water was cool.  The breeze was gentle.  Letting the pleasurable sensations take charge.  All was well in that moment.

Floating, floating, floating… Lightly toasted, completely refreshed.  i heard the boat approaching the dock and went to greet The Captain and her crew.  i had been in the pool, in that moment, for three solid hours.

None of us are big enough to stop the world from turning.  Sometimes we can make it feel as though we’ve at least slowed it down…


34 thoughts on “Moment of Inertia

    • It was a wonderful moment, within a very nice weekend. i probably could have floated there for a few more hours… my fingers were pruned, and i was afraid that’d i’d burn to a crisp!

    • It felt good. i don’t meditate, although i probably should try it. closest i usually get is when i’m diving – staring eye to eye with a green eel was the closest i’ve come to a religious experience. this wasn’t bad, though… i got lost in my brain. knocked down some cobwebs, and rebuilt some defenses.

  1. Such a wonderful read. So relaxed and relaxing. Although I was chuckling at the “brownian motion” until I realised that it was not only your raft which was subject to that random motion but also your mind. Now I am nodding in understanding. A mind capable of quiet brownian motion is a healthy and fulfilled mind. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks, dear! Figured you’d get some of the gently buried physics references. i had an earlier draft that went a bit further with the metaphor, but it was too long…

  2. It sounds great, and you are so busy and active, you need some inertia now and then. I, on the other hand, need to get moving again. But it’s so comfy here, and I can hide from the big bad, world. I’m glad things are well in your world.

    • My response to most things is to move. Motion soothes me. if i sit still, or feel trapped, i get anxious and restless and start kicking at boundaries – real or imagined. i admire those who can regroup through quiet contemplation, but that’s rarely my M.O. winter is coming, though, and with more darkness, cold weather and reduced opportunities to play outside, i might need to take another run at slowing down a touch…

      While you ‘hide’, you also find a way to reach out and maintain your connections – you haven’t let yourself become isolated, as you’re still active out here in the ether. The beauty of these ‘virtual’ connections? We can adjust the timing – tap in or out when we need to… hope things are getting better in your world.

  3. The weather must have been perfect! I can hardly ever lay on an air mattress in a pool – I’m either too hot, too cold or I’m thinking of something I want to do. But I know what you are talking about; sometimes it’s when I think about taking a nap and get all comfy on the couch and think there is absolutely nothing I have to do. There are things I can do, want to do, but some other time. I silently tell myself stories and think everything is okay right now.

    • It was beautiful! Warm, high-pressure blue skies, with a few perfect clouds. No humidity. Realized an obvious thing in hindsight — this sort of thing is virtually impossible when one is at home. There is always a dish to wash, a closet to excavate, or a misplaced widget to locate…. those things get in the way.

      And yes. “everything is okay right now”. such a strong statement, and we’re pretty terrible at noticing when it is indeed true…

  4. this was a great lesson. My life has been so very busy of late, and even on the occasions when I am “relaxing” I tend to be busy. Reading this post made me realize that I truly need some meditative down time.

    • You have had quite a lot of ‘stuff’ going on – sometimes it creeps up on us and we don’t realize how fast we are moving. i’m looking forward to some quiet time in November. Devoting one solid weekend to a particular project that i’ve been neglecting… Just being able to focus on one thing will help…

  5. Best vacation snapshot ever! I have been far down one axis of that space lately, sliding smoothly from thing to thing to other thing. The stress is low, but there is a definite shortage of undirected time. An afternoon in the pool sounds like just the ticket.

    • It was therapeutic as hell…. and a reminder to myself that the only time i can really clear my head is when i am (at least momentarily) convinced that my spawn are healthy and doing well… Also, i don’t like to fish and it was a perfect opportunity to hang by myself!

  6. Me likes this, you know sometimes late at night around here when it’s all crickets and nothingness i sit amidst a mess of toys in the Rumpus room and listen to myself breathe, the boyos fast asleep a floor above me, the ones i love drifting in and out of my head, the ones i’d thought i’d forgotten rising and falling with each breath, ain’t nothing like a bit of peace and quiet to dwell on the good things…

  7. I feel i am floating, floating, floating……and it’s not the Jack on the rocks. so glad to hear mom and T are well.

  8. I love floating the ‘world away’. It’s how I get through a week of a less than desirable job….I remind myself I get a Hawaiian vacation every 5 days.

    • i’ve taken to counting down the days to the weekend, or road trip. and i love my job… i just want to fart around full time. retirement beckons… loudly… enjoy those weekends, dear lady! year round!

    • i live in the midwestern portion of the united states. we don’t have sea. on the trip to miami to visit my sister, i did manage to do some serious floating in the brilliant waters of biscayne bay — several hours, in fact. but with the current, i had to be tethered to the boat… i could have ended up in cuba!

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