Amanda C. Brainerd and Irene Plax

Amanda C. Brainerd

Untitled by Irene Plax
Inspiration piece

Beneath the grey winter light from the enormous overhead window, Nadine felt many things cease to matter. It did matter that poor form meant you breathed in water instead of air at the crucial moment. And this was something she could concentrate on.

She had joined the local indoor pool, an unusual move for such a novice swimmer. But it was winter, the days short and lonely, and the pool was a surprising solace from thesnowy world. The roof above the water was made of glass…(and it was quite peaceful). Nadine had never belonged to a swim club, and watched to see if people really followed the rule about showering before entering. They did, and she admired the pact they shared. She was quietly awed by the mystery and variation of women’ s bodies in the locker room. She was humbled by the calm rhythm of the elderly swimmers.

At her first visit, she had asked the attendant how it worked, and accordingly dropped herself into the slow lane. She was amazed by the procession of swimmers, who knew the rules and allowed her a place in their succession of laps, soundlessly, accepting her as one of the herd. Here, she was a mere animal, enjoying an ancient pleasure.

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