Today was the last swimming class, this motley crew of young and old, fearful and eager each with a unique story of their own deep waters. Several had had near drowning experiences, several had refused to even enter any waters for years and instead sat on the sideline watching family play like dolphins. Several just knew they wanted to SWIM and were tired of not knowing how, and then there was me and Chett, both of us having taken many many classes and still not knowing the first thing to do when stepping into a pool.
But today, here, weeks later, we all could actually propel ourselves down the lanes of the pool. We were really swimming. Each one of us had that delightful look of astonished pride in our face, like when we were little and wrote our names for the first time. Before we couldn't. Now we could.
That left only one thing to do. Deep water. And so these intrepid classmates donned floating belts and gripped railings and entered, some for the first time in their lives, the diving well and water deeper than 4 feet. Slowly but surely, fingers were gently coaxed to let go of the wall (and I think in one case pried off) by the very patient instructor.
And soon they were swimming in their own deep waters.
with gratitude and thanks for being such warm, kind classmates and for letting me document this event.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.