Mosaic at the Villa Romana del Casale (c. 300) (Anonymous, Roman)
Every child, naturally, who was not a sissy swam. In lakes, and seas, and heavily chlorinated pools, they earned their certificates, Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced, Junior Life Saving, Senior Life Saving—all the New England summer accreditations of the healthy child. There has been, always, the preoccupation of people of our age and class with documents: degrees, cards, certifications, records, licenses. One got them the year one became of age to get them. Of age. People who missed their proper year often remained afraid of swimming, driving, hunting, or whatever, all their lives. The accreditations all began, though, in the water: at five, the dog paddle, and at twelve, the dive to break the death grip of some giant instructor, in order to tow him, by means of the chin carry, the hair carry, the cross-chest carry, whatever other carry, home. By now, there have been many years of accepted assurances that the water’s fine—quite warm, actually—once you get into it; many years’ insane passings on of such an assurance. And here we all are. All that is, except Barney, whose sailboat overturned two years ago last November. It is probable that he had been drinking. When Jim and I took him to dinner the preceding August, he said he was bored with his job.
~Renata Adler [buy]
Can’t Be Sure (1990) (The Sundays)
"Sometimes You Have to be Reckless"
Today I woke up at 4:30am to go to the filming location for the school shooting video. I got my hair and makeup done by 7:00, and at 9:00 I was in position for filming. It was intense (if you want to hear about it you can private message me, it was insane, but as it was based on Columbine I want to be respectful to the family and friends of those students). I was transferred a lot, and I was the first to be ‘shot’ so I was the main actor that they relied on for screaming and crying. It was really tiring and I had to be transported to a lot of different locations in a lot of different ways! None-the-less it made me really want to be an actress.
I finished the shoot at around 1:00pm and then I got in the car on the way to the Andrew McMahon concert. I stepped in the car and my mom said, ‘Your doctor would not be happy with you.’ She doesn’t care what I do, but I realized that if it were up to my doctors, all of the best days of my life would never have happened. They value salvaging as much of your body as possible instead of embracing what you have and using what you do have. I’d rather use every last bit of strength than sit at home and practice ‘good body mechanics’ or whatever. If I want to dance and scream at a rock concert I’m going to do it because I’m alive.
Well anyway, at 6:30 we began waiting to see my hero, Andrew McMahon. The only person that I know who can make rock songs talking about pain killers, doctors, and reasons to keep fighting, as well as rock songs about his new baby or his amazing wife. I’ve never had someone that has helped me shape something as important as my will to keep living through trauma and pain. Through every blood draw, line placement, infusion (also vomiting in bedpans kinda goes along with infusions), procedure, and general difficulty that I’ve come across I’ve listened to his music.
He’s so honest, yet he isn’t focused on either the positives or negatives. He’s focused on the fact that you need to keep breathing and living and let stuff be. I like that. It’s honest and real and genuine.
So I struggled to stand but I screamed every word to every song. Especially ‘The Resolution’.
Yeah I’m alive
But I don’t need a witness
To know that I’ve survived
I’m not looking for forgiveness
Yeah I just need light
I need light in the dark
As I search for the resolution
I found my Resolution through taking risks and doing what I want to do with my life. Playing it safe is boring, I’d rather live fully.
Major Tom (Coming Home) (1983) (Peter Schilling)