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