Life is absurd. And life is precious. Family is a lot of both.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Swimming Lessons

In life there are floaters and divers.

I am a floater.

I married a diver.

I am, in general, relaxed. I am content to be still while soaking up the sun and occasionally trailing my hand in the water. Put a good book in my hands and I can forget just about everything else.

He is, in general, intense. He is always seeking, staying under longer in order to discover something else about himself and his surroundings. He only comes up for air when it is absolutely necessary.

One is not better than the other. In the swimming pool of life there are pros to being a floater. And there are cons. There are cons to being a diver. And there are pros.

We need each other.

I pull him to the surface when I fear he is drowning. He pulls me under when he fears I am being blinded and burned by the sun. I'm uncertain whether he would actually drown or I would actually burn if left on our own. But it's nice that we will tend to each other before we have to find out.

A floater enjoys the warmth of the day and the sound of the waves. The scent of the breeze and the taste of a cool drink when things get too steamy. As long as the surface stays tranquil I have very little concern with what is going on underneath.

A diver does not feel the sun, does not hear the waves, does not smell the breeze or taste a thing. He is holding his breath. But in the deep he can fully appreciate the power of what is going on below. He is alone with his isolated sensations.

I listen.

He tests.

I need to test more. He needs to listen better. Those are the lessons we learn.

On our best days we balance each other--floating on the surface for a while and then working our strength by diving deep.

I pull him up for air. He pulls me into the deep. And when it is perfect we swim alongside each other, matching stroke for stroke and breath for breath, enjoying the sun and the cool deep all on the same day.


  1. Got misty reading this...Steve is the floater and I am the diver, but I totally relate. Thank you for sharing.

  2. wow. I see this is both of you as I do in my own life.

    1. Thanks, Kathy. I always consider a comment from you a gigantic compliment. :)