CARSAIG BAY SWIM IN TAYVEE – (OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE BAY OF TAWASENTHA) – SATURDAY NOV, 3rd 2012- 3.00 P.M
GUEST BLOGGER , WA WA TAY SEE (THE FIREFLY)
APOLOGIES AND THANKS TO THE AMERINDIAN PEOPLES AND HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
The ‘SOUND OF JURA WILDSWIMMERS‘ met at Carsaig jetty on Saturday afternoon in Novembral gloomth… along with a few other ‘denizens of the deep’… braving the wave with swarthy webs and thews, in mild squalls sent from JURAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHH! – EXHALED the first two burgeoning bathers, (nearly à poil) – entering rapidly to escape the autumnal chill.
‘MADAME ONDINE DE MINNEHAHA’ – OR, (OUR LADY OF THE FACE OF THE LAUGHING WATER UNDERNEATH)… felt there was no sense in standing about in the wind, if you’re swimming sky-clad, the water being warmer than the air about them – “goose bumps away!”, she cried emphatically, and wasting no time in passing from the upper ether, into the aqueous netherworld below; Cobalt turquoise, Paynes grey, Mercurial Cinnabar — slipped blithely in.
A gently rising swell of undulant slope bore her up, Naiad like, closely followed by the wiley ‘WA WA TAY SEE’- (THE FIREFLY) – alias MISHE MOKWA- (THE GREAT BEAR)… Whooping and leaping and clutching his glowstick, and passing also through the initial “PAIN BARRIER”… AS QUICKLY AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE FOR A DEMI-BARE-GOD – passed from the gravity bound safety of the known, into a relatively unknown element -; a shimmering sibilant WATERWORLD.
Four mermaids followed rapidly from the jetty, ‘OWA ISSA’…(THE BLUEBIRD), ‘SHAWONDASEE’… (THE SOUTH WIND), ‘WA WA NISSA’… (THE WHIPOORWILL), AND ‘KEEWAYDIN’… (THE NORTH WEST WIND)… all clad in the black-gum eel-skin as was their custom – except for OWAISSA – THE BLUEBIRD, who was happy to swim in her own feathers.
Last, but not least, TWO VIKING WARRIORS; BRAVE ‘MUD JE KEEWIS’… (THE WEST WIND), AND YOUNG ‘MONDAMIN’… (MAIZE GOD AND HEALER)… began to powerstroke non-stop and fearless straight through the centre bay heading we knew not where?… towards the BIG DARK ISLAND.
MEANWHILE, the four mermaids headed across the Bay of TAWASENTHA, to the tiny hamlet of ‘CANAVA-SHANTAN’, with its ‘secret’ hill – ‘MYSTIC MOUNTAIN NEEKATAVE’… (NOT QUITE A MOUNTAIN, BUT RATHER A POINTY HILL, LIGHTLY FRINGED BY BEAUTIFUL HARDWOOD BUSH). The magnetic pull of this landmark was well known, and gave a beautiful sweep to the southern vista of the bay ~ lying there like a gift before them.
The distinctive high-elbowed stroke of OWAISSA was plainly visible above the cresting chops of the beautifully rolling swell. Gunmetal greys and distant mists swirled up in towering billows o’er far flung Jura, whence brave MUD JE KEWISS & MONDAMIN had disappeared to in a flash.
MINNEHAHA & WAWA TAYSEE kept a middle course in the bay. After crossing it in a leisurely fashion MINNEHAHA DEMONSTRATED her newly perfected stroke… which consisted of a kind of externalized arm variation on sidestroke…with the elegant addition of a two beat hand pause… (the stroking ‘forepaw’ extended before the swimmer above water, for what seemed an eternity (2 beats)… before being drawn back under the water in a powerful caress…while using a modified scissor kick, as in traditional sidestroke… the non pulling arm remaining firmly forward, like the cutting prow of a low slung skiff), counterpoint to the movement of the other arm, and pointing the way ahead.
WAWA TAYSEE, in his alternative capacity as MISHE MOKWA- (THE GREAT BEAR)… resorted to ‘THE LAZYBEAR BACKSTROKE’, also known as the ‘LAZY BROKEN WINDMILL WITH ONE SAIL MISSING STROKE’… a kind of modified, elementary backstroke, but far too ornate to be described in mere words… He then began to do a brief demo’ of the ‘ALTERNATIVE BACK FRONT SPIN CYCLE CRAWL STROKE’… which made MINNEHAHA DIZZY WITH DELIGHT, but she had to stop as she became disoriented and went off course.
They made their way back to the jetty , when MINNEHAHA decided, (for the first time ever)… to visit the BIG ROCK- a large barely submerged rocky outcrop about 50 yards out from the jetty. The continuous rolling swell lapped upon it repeatedly in steady pulsing surges, —-slappadah , slappadah, slappadah —— the sensation as they neared it was one of being pushed forward and pulled back by turns, … and the swimmers’ desire was to achieve landfall without being battered up against the jaggy obstinacy…nor being suddenly torn away from it before grabbing hold… This was gained with much delight and wonder…for a space of seconds, whereupon taking the initiative of the powerful backdrift… they came off together in a bubbling gurgle of foaming spume tossed flotsam… lost in a gently eddying NIMBUS OF MERCURIAL SILVER.
By this time OWAISSA and the other three mermaids had completed the circuit… and were on the shore peeling off their MERSKINS. Like a ritualized act, the significance of which was innately known to them in a voiceless subconscious sense – unneccessary to acknowledge aloud.
As they left the water, a curious SEAL APPEARED, poking its head up to wonder at these ungainly invaders of its domain, who, by comparison, couldn’t really swim with any significant skill at all! – it seemed. They were so slow!… Spent all their time on the surface flailing about!… They, in short, just hadn’t the knack of gliding about underwater as she did.
Minnehaha repeated the truth that each swim had its own tone, mood, colour, occurrence, and quality… as with the water, ever changing and beautiful in so many varied ways and hues.
After the return of the intrepid MUD JE KEWISS, he and OWAISSA hosted a feast of CHITTERY BITES AND OSWEGO TEA, in their nearby WICKYUP, called SANDWOOD…. BY A ROARING BLAZE… that proved the FIREY ANTIDOTE to the effects of swimming in November, in 10 degree seawater, in a breezy swell!
The jolly conversation ran the gamut of everything from hillrunning, to the nearly completed MOBILE HOT TUB of MUD JE KEWISS…(ANXIOUSLY AWAITED BY THE ENTIRE GROUP), AS A POST WILD SWIMMING DELIGHT, A BENISON TO FROZEN JOINTS AND LIMBS.
Then ranging freely over such subjects as ‘bodily fluids’ and the potential energies expended in retaining or expelling them while swimming…all debated and discussed in a state of warming convalescence. HOT?? OR COLD?? WATER HYDROTHERAPY??, THE PROS AND CONS… HYPOTHERMIA?, REAL OR IMAGINED??
THE COMPANY DISPERSED INTO THE GATHERING DARKNESS ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT SMOKE SIGNALS AND JUNGLE DRUMS WOULD DULY ANNOUNCE THE NEXT WILD WINTER SWIM.
WA WA TAYSEE