Immersions Diary

6th May, St Mary’s Isles of Scilly

We urgently made our way from one side of the island to the other. Then we ran elated and courageously into the water. It was cold and sea-weedy but felt blissful and nourishing. I am happy to be alive in this beautiful place. Dived under for full immersion. I didn’t feel scared as I was in the company of brave women friends. This immersion felt like an act of celebration and a way of connecting body to place. Thank you water.

Evening Bath Immersion

7 April and its 22:15.

I’ve just had a bath and wanted to record some of my sensations. It was hot. It took my breath. I placed my head back into the water and noticed a seal of water skin around my face like a circle with an emergent form/face coming through. Thinking of this water like a skin. I was thinking that our skin in the water more like the water than the air. We are porous. It is an exchange between substance and surface. It is not a violation it is soft. The air is harder. We are both waterproof and slightly absorbent.

I was thinking of how in domestic water of the home bodies are guided into a position by the containers of the water. In a bath with a horizontal. How is this horizontal space that we occupy dictated to by the shape of the container? Sometimes we place our hands into the water containers sometimes put the water onto the face sometimes we immerse our whole bodies into it sometimes we are partially immersed into it. What is our relationship with this domestic water? How is it different to live water to wild water? We control it, we stop and start it, we drain it, refill it, pour it, we let it run, we stop it, it falls. It is safe it is clean it is controlled it is for our bodies.

Friday Swim, Gylly Beach, 9am

Clear and sunny | gentle breeze | small lapping waves | wind ripples on water surface | swimming costume (no swim cap or ear plugs) | cold water 

Enter water, walking into water with a ritual sweep of my hands along the surface before I plunge froward and begin to swim. It was hard to breathe today as water still very cold, my lungs were catching air at a really fast pace and it took a long time to settle.

Only partial immersion as no head or face into the water. Swimming near the shoreline today as water still very cold. 

Swimming over darkness. It is not the seaweed that frightens me it is the sudden light change from clear bright water to darkness. I find myself swimming a path that is dictated by this phenomenon of light and dark water.

I have decided not to take the underwater camera with me as I have become increasingly conscious of documenting the act instead of experiencing, through the senses, the body/water interaction. I am becoming more in favour of retrospective documentation (writing and drawing) based solely on the memory of my noticing.