Swimming Studies

I'm taking Leanne Shapton's Swimming Studies home with me, to read by the sea. I think you all know what it means to me to be in salt water. I already love her first chapter:

Water is elemental, it's what we're made of, what we can't live within our without. Trying to define what swimming means to me is like looking at a shell sitting in a few feet of clear, still water. There it is, in sharp focus, but once I reach for it, breaking the surface, the ripples refract the shell. It becomes five shells, twenty-five shells, some larger, and I blindly feel for what I saw perfectly before trying to grasp it.

I also read a piece by Ms. Shapton in the July Allure, while at the hairdressers on the weekend. I'm always in a sort of slowed down reality there, one of the few such environments I do relax and luxuriate in. Her feature was lovely to read there and it resonated with me in ways that cross boundaries of acquaintance. If you can hunt it down, I recommend reading it.

Paintings by Vicki Smith, from Bau-Xi


  1. Your trip home is so soon! I love the paintings, underwater is one of my favourite places to be.

    1. I know! It seemed like ages ago and suddenly, it's on my doorstep!

  2. I'm leaving and for some days I'll live and swim in a enchanting little island with sea and cliffs and nothing else around me.
    I bring swimming studies too, I had time to bought only the digital version, but I was too fashinated and intrigued after reading your post.
    Thank you, the deeply blue silence surely will remind me your words.

    1. Thanks Tilia - I hope you enjoy it too and have a lovely getaway.

  3. I am getting caught up on my favorite blogs, so I just read this, a month late. :)

    I looked at some of her other paintings via the link you posted. "The Happiest Girl I Know" is my favorite. The title and her work campture the feelings of freedom and peace and joy that I feel when I am swimming.

    Thank you for sharing! I will be sure to check out the book as well.



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