Ocean – by Guen @Collecting Grace*

I asked an intern, Guen, who is MAD passionate about swimming, if she’d like to write a guest post for me. She kindly agreed to do so, and below is what she sent. Beginning with what I’m calling her prologue, although it was actually her summary.

I was trying to express the magnificence of the sea and what it felt like to challenge a fear of mine. My fear here is not seeing the bottom and possibly the sharks, although apparently there aren’t any in this particular sea. With water, the process to get to the challenge, is to get in. - Would add, seeing as sharks have been mentioned twice, check if there are any of the eating type before getting in.

I grew up near the Latchmere (Battersea, London), which has a wave machine, and the River Lee in Cork where my family are from. Being in water to me is complete freedom.

The water is forgiving, deep and fairly loud. Every time I go into a lake, a waterfall or the Sea, I try to understand the coolest playground on earth. I try to overcome my fear of going from clearly seeing 10 metres below, to seeing complete darkness; and to keep swimming, to ‘go over the edge’.

The following words came to me as I was swimming in the Ionian Sea and ‘going over the edge’.

If I could tell you what it feels like to stare passed my toes to the dark deep below,
In the shallows there are feeding fish oblivious to me,
Possibly a world where fish roam looking up to daylight or luminous plankton,
Going over the edge I look down to the infinite,
Not going to lie, possibly sharks -at least that’s what I think- is my fear,
I’ve passed this invisible barrier, which in reality is just a gradient.
The fear lingers, but I stretch out in the water till I am hugging the core.

What fear of yours may you want to challenge and overcome?

What may you need to ‘keep swimming’ towards?

*You can view more of Guen’s photography here.