Most of July is spent calling and visiting hospitals. Your shoulders maintain a permanent state of tension, like a mooring rope holding dock against a strong tide. Summer, instead of offering its warmth and rest and pleasure, has instead been a battering lover. On August 1st, he rests his fists.
You shake your head and clear your eyes: Are you quiet now?
On Mount Hood, Pegleg Falls is moderately secluded from Portland adventure-seekers. Your best friend and you are alone by these falls and the deep Collawash River pool for most of the day.
Maybe you use too many water metaphors for your life. But then, as you slip off your clothes, slip on your fins and mask, and dive into the cold pool, you remember that you are mostly water, and it is often the only way you can relate to, soothe, and decompress reality—this angry lover.
The water is glacial; it stings the skin and bones. The ache is shocking, healing, addictive. You cannot get out. You swim to the bottom, and you’re surprised how far you can dive without SCUBA gear. You want to stay below in this quiet.
You look up and see the triple falls plunging through the water’s surface, like underwater explosions. Like time-lapsed clouds. You place your hands along the pool sides, below the waterfall and crawl. An underwater rock climb.
This suspension, this silence, is life-giving. 2016 has been a heart-drain—locally, nationally, globally. We are all battered. You push your feet toward the surface and hang upside-down beneath the falls and let the power of moving water pound and bless your feet. You are primordial—300-million years old, before you walked out of the ocean soup, onto earth and into the sun.
The falls on the soles of your feet say: You are water, walking.
Water is not the metaphor.