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Immersion. An illicit immersion in a pool I am not supposed to be in. I am struck by fear, of getting caught, of the deep end. It is entirely irrational but the best ones always are. I spend some time staring, sitting at the edge and watching the stillness.

Splashing at the surface I notice the change in temperature, sensation on skin. Liquid envelops and holds me. Usually I get into a pool and swim. I do not usually get to linger as long, do not have the space to dwell on the way it feels to stand, to move an arm or a leg this way or that. I notice the movement of the water under the pressure of my body. It’s chain reaction, it’s weight, how much motion is needed below the surface to break through and splash. The smoothness of it and the way it reflects light as it moves. I think maybe it is because I am scared that I notice these things more. I am more focussed, self conscious and aware of my surroundings. I think it is because it has neat mosaic tiling that I remember how light alters as it moves through water. Lines shift, curves form. This interests me and I stare at it again, making the water move with my arms, my legs. I try to capture what I can see with photographs but am not sure how accurately it can be done. I think of David Hockney’s paintings of swimming pools and wonder how long he sat looking at the movement in the water to be able to recreate it so convincingly.

Surface tension, the boundary between liquid and gas. The space where things float, insects skate. Where reflections lie. The edge between above and below.

A still body of water cannot hide activity, even the slightest, when there is a disruption to its perfect surface. That smoothness of texture, there is almost nothing there until it’s in motion. This transforms the instant something penetrates. Once shaken, the surface ruptures and ripples. A chain reaction of water droplets, like a Mexican wave, all the way to the edge. The surface alters the shapes below, creating new textures and lines. Edges can no longer be trusted as true.