D. (dalaruan) wrote,

the mirror of the sea

Listening to her, one experienced a deep uneasiness as of having avoided an urgent responsibility, like someone who, walking at night along the banks of a stream, catches a glimpse in the water of a white face or a moving limb and turns quickly away, refusing to help or to search for help. We all see the faces in the water. We smother our memory of them, even our belief in their reality, and become calm people of the world; or we can neither forget nor help them. Sometimes by a trick of circumstances or dream or a hostile neighbourhood of light we see our own face.
Janet Frame, Faces in the Water

If there's something I'm really afraid of, it's deep water. With every step into a lake or the sea, my aversion grows parallel to the water line. When the water reaches my ribcage, my heartbeat hastens with every wave that pulls at my body. When I lose ground, I hyperventilate, panic and swallow water. For this reason I never learned to swim, although they tried hard to teach me. I also avoid to tread on the ground of boats, but I feel safe on ships where the surface of the water is not that near. I don't know the reason for this fear. I like the air, I love to fly. But I abhor the deep waters which pull you in and never let you go.

Later in life I discovered that other members of my family also suffered from this phobia. What a strange kind of heritage. Maybe it's endemic in coast dwellers like us, who know very well the risk of drowning.

William Turner - Study of Sunlight, ~1830
Tags: death, me

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