There are years that feel like your mouth opens into air above the water, you breath in, now you’ve been saved, you’ve pushed upward and there awaits oxygen. 2021 was like that, not the race, the breaststroke, 200m, but a flash of a splash, the grasping of the pool’s wall—we’ve all won who are breathing, some fluid sieved behind the goggles, parting eyes.
“She doesn’t have the tragic mindset,” he said of his sister, of his sister’s cancelled wedding, the virus knows no borders, and he meant unlike us. Such Nietzsche’s Greeks we must be, we sit here bent for revelation, for the birthmark and the mother, whose joys must be the side-project of suffering. I’ve found that those who’ve seen blood must distrust the choir, their mask, their makeup more deliberate; mindsets don’t unite us, experience does, it’s walking back from brinks that brings together.
For some like me, some years will be breather years, the chaos cut short for brief moments, the movements of the planets more regular, the momentum forward and so natural you wonder if it’s circular, all doubts well-sieved, old alarm bells discarded. It’s not in space but in time that we’re short-sighted; we suspect thieves beyond our edge of vision, we bill insurance on small bubbles of pleasure, and shield passing stirs of calm from neglect and from harm, feeling fated in this automated stilling.
2022 is beginning. If time had stopped, all fast things would lose their taste, all good things would soon go stale, yet to some like me in change loom new tragedies (or new comedies, for that matter, although a comedy must end in a wedding, which is a tragedy, just for someone else, not you). Yes, in the old days I may have hesitated, now I inspect the waves. You start with the wrists, the neck, so it won’t feel so cold.