Tuesday, December 16, 2008

dear diary


Under the water I went, down to the blue-grey depths of the pool where it was quiet and half-lit, like the ocean. I swam breaststroke, pulling at the water with strong arms, kicking in great powerful sweeps. It was silent save for my own bubbling and swishing sounds. I thought of my friend fifi, who is part woman, part fish - I thought this is what she loves, this privacy and secrecy and intimacy in water. I felt hidden and invincible, and I wanted to stay down there all afternoon. When my need for air became too urgent, I burst to the surface in a great eruption of foam and pale flesh and trailing wet hair. Breathed in gulps, then more calmly. Then back under I went, like an addict.


Like a traditional husband, I came home from work to find dinner being served. I sat with Fatty and the kids on the back deck and watched the fruit bats come winging past, to roost in trees near and far. The air was warm and soft on my skin. Laura and Ben were giggly and exuberant. Later, I read aloud to the children - Winnie the Pooh, from a childhood edition of mine, all tattered and smelling of dust and days gone by.


We boarded the train, my kidlets and I, and we stood in the foyer (if trains can have foyers), hanging on to rails. A woman sat nearby, in a pretty knee-length red dress and high heeled sandals, with ankle-high stockings on. I was mesmerised and fascinated. This lady was attractive, and otherwise well-dressed. She sat quietly reading, and gave no outward signs of mental illness. She looked like she wore the foot stockings simply because it suited her; they were comfortable, maybe cooler than pantyhose? She obviously didn't care that they looked odd. I didn't know whether to despair of her dress sense, or to admire her nonchalance.

The art gallery visit, much maligned by my son beforehand, was a great success. I decided that artists exist in another dimension altogether - their imaginations are exaggerated and immense; more creative and expansive and wondrous than my mind can even grasp. I am awed. My children were awed. We stared and gasped and pointed. I am still thinking over what I've seen.


thisisme said...

What a gorgeous, glorious post. I love the evocativeness. Just beautiful. Thanks for taking me on a trip through your last few days.

Heidi said...

I love this glimpse into your life, Jelly. You are an amazing and intelligent woman with beautiful and probing observations.

Elaine said...

If you love swimming underwater, try diving. You can stay down longer and feel at one with the water and completely cut off from the world above. All you hear is the hiss of your breathing from the tank on your back.

I reckon it is as close as you can get to being back in the womb.

TUFFENUF said...

Jelly, are you on vacation? -or are you having this much fun in everyday life? I love your posts, they are just like photographs for my imagination. I think someday you will write a book and become quite famous - then I will find you & have you sign my copy!

fifi said...

oh! swimming! hooray!

and did you take them to the snowy cactuses?
I'm SO excited by that!
Did you take them upstairs to the giant Ron Mueck?

*calms down*

a lady I used to work with favoured those lovely hose. I am yet to work it out also.

meggie said...

What a lovely post!
I too, get fascinated by people & what they wear- or don't!
I used to take my children to the Art Gallery in Christchurch regularly. We loved to go & study the paintings.
It is refreshing to go 'outside our walls' for a bit.

Blue Mountains Mary said...

Experiences your children will treasure.

And moments shared from your life that resonate with all of us..

freefalling said...

I'm jealous.
Wish I could write like that.

Isabelle said...

Oh I love bloggery - such fun to share people's lives.

Do you know, I have never in my married life come home to find the dinner ready?

Puss-in-Boots said...

I would love to come home and find dinner ready, but as I no longer work and the cats are more than useless at cooking, it's not going to happen any time soon.

You have a gift with words, Jelly, and they take me right into the moment with you...especially the underwater experience.

Keep cool.

Remiman said...

To stand in awe of a manmade creation, breeds in us, hope.

p.s. Swimming underwater and art museums having something in common I think: both take our breath away.

Cindy said...

my husband has a scuba diving certification and loves to dive. i'm too nervous to be that deep in the water. at a holiday party last week, one of the gals said she has anxiety attacks depending on an oxygen tank! love your blog. . .this is my first time visiting...

shellyC said...

I have seen someone else wearing the knee high stockings with quite a decent outfit! It just looked weird to me!!...It was in QLD though!??!!

So great when kids are happy and facinated at galleries.

Alipurr said...

stopping by to catch up on posts and say, Merry Christmas!!!!!!

you write some really good things, I always like reading your posts and catching up. My brother is in from across the country visiting my mom and dad for the holidays. I keep threatening to hijack her blog and post for her. My dad has offered me her password, snicker snicker....
thanks for being a good friend to my mom....

Stomper Girl said...

Happy Christmas to you and your family Jellyhead. I loved that line about coming home like a traditional husband to a cooked meal, that never happens to me.

Mimi said...

I know the feeling of swimming completely under water, it is fantastic. I also wonder if I shall one day become the lady with the short stockings.

Kerri said...

I haven't swum underwater for donkey's ages. I used to love it so much.
Lovely little snippets of your life, Jelly. Thank you :)
Knee high stockings...not a pretty fashion statement! Hmmmm...
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your dear family.
Wishing you and yours joy, good health and many blessings for the new year. Please give my love to Jellyma.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Ahh...swimming, trains & art gallerys, Hmmmm, sounds like a weekend getaway to me.

fifi said...

hey gorgeous!
just a quick hello to say happy new year!