1. Everybody has a little bit of the sun and moon in them. Everybody has a little bit of man, woman, and animal in them. Darks and lights in them. Everyone is part of a connected cosmic system. Part earth and sea, wind and fire, with some salt and dust swimming in them. We have a universe within ourselves that mimics the universe outside. None of us are just black or white, or never wrong and always right. No one. No one exists without polarities. Everybody has good and bad forces working with them, against them, and within them.
2. She had a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach, like when you’re swimming and you want to put your feet down on something solid, but the water’s deeper than you think and there’s nothing there
3. The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.
4. The Darkling just stared out into the waves. I considered shoving him over the railing. Sure, he was hundreds of years old, but could he swim?
5. Water was something he loved, something he respected. He understood its beauty and its dangers. He talked about swimming as if it were a way of life.
6. When you truly sing, you sing yourself free. When you truly dance, you dance yourself free. When you walk in the mountains or swim in the sea, again, you set yourself free.
7. Some fish love to swim upstream. Some people love to overcome challenges.
8. The water doesn’t know how old you are.
9. He wondered what kind of life it would be, having to keep swimming all the time to stay exactly in the same place. Pretty similar to his own, he decided.
10. Water. Like a blanket. Dark. Intoxicating. Cold.
11. He was going to take a dive into this lake. He just didn’t know it. Cerise rose, finding footing in the soft mud. The water came up to just below her breasts and her wet shirt stuck to her body. William’s gaze snagged on her chest. Yep, keep looking, Lord Bill. Keeeeeep looking.
12. There’s an old adage: the sensation of drowning reminds you of everything you ever knew about swimming.
13. We jumped into water so clear and warm that it was like jumping from air to air. The sand rose up under us and we floated to where it met the sea and walked out of the water like creatures in an act of evolution.
14. Swimming is simply moving meditation.
15. Dreams do come true…never stop believing.
16. Floating in the void free of gravity I made my way along the side of the ship. I listened to my own breaths. It was so dark and I was so weightless that I had to look for my bubbles to be sure which way was up. I swam backward a little away from the boat and into outer space and waved my arm through the water. Sure enough the phosphorescents appeared trailing my movement like the tail of a shooting star. I let myself tip upside down and floated there watching the gentle snowstorm marveling that a world of such strangeness existed here all the time just under the surface.
17. Perhaps swimming was dancing under the water, he thought. To swim under lily pads seeing their green slender stalks wavering as you passed, to swim under upraised logs past schools of sunfish and bluegills, to swim through reed beds past wriggling water snakes and miniature turtles, to swim in small lakes, big lakes, Lake Michigan, to swim in small farm ponds, creeks, rivers, giant rivers where one was swept along easefully by the current, to swim naked alone at night when you were nineteen and so alone you felt like you were choking every waking moment, having left home for reasons more hormonal than rational; reasons having to do with the abstraction of the future and one’s questionable place in the world of the future, an absurdity not the less harsh for being so widespread.
18. He took it out like a sprinter, and brought it home like a distance swimmer.
19. Into the day as by dream I swim To the music of nourished meaning.
20. At Dachau. We had a wonderful pool for the garrison children. It was even heated. But that was before we were transferred. Dachau was ever so much nicer than Auschwitz. But then, it was in the Reich. See my trophies there. The one in the middle, the big one. That was presented to me by the Reich Youth Leader himself, Baldur von Schirach. Let me show you my scrapbook.
21. We Pisceans know how to swim without water
22. Michael wasn’t on the pool deck, which was hard for me. None of my old Coral Springs teammates were around. Still, that old plane of cement felt like home. I folded my clothes and put them on the bench. I placed my water bottle under my starting block, and I dove in. Once again, I felt that ultimate state of transition, my feet no longer on the ground, my hands not yet in the water.
23. I’m thinking that I shouldn’t have filed my nails last night.
24. And so, in the space of a few yards, the sacred springs of Gafsa, those laughing, chattering, amorous waters of the Romans that well up here in a river of warmth and purity, had been reduced to those of a Cloaca Maxima.
25. Some people swim as fast as they can. Faster than most. They can never stop and rest for long, and they never reach their destination, for they are constantly swimming upstream. But eventually they become strong, in their own way.
26. Swimming is my salvation. Ask me in the middle of winter, or at the end of a grueling day, or after a long stretch at the computer, where I’d most like to be, and the answer is always the same: in the water, gliding weightless, slicing a silent trail through whatever patch of blue I can find.
27. She’d started swimming early in the morning, when the kids were asleep, when she thought he was asleep. She didn’t know her absence woke him, that the shift in the bed was an earthquake. When she climbed back in, she smelled like salt and seaweed. Sometimes her hair would still be knotted on top of her head. She tried to keep it dry. She didn’t want him to know. The problem with marrying the mermaid girl from the carnival was knowing that one day she’d swim away.
28. For the woman who swelters in her kitchen or lolls in a drawing room, for the man who sits half his life in an office chair, an occasional swim does as much good as six months’ vacation. That weary feeling goes away for once in the cool, quiet water. Tired men and tired women forget that stocks and cakes have fallen.
29. The place was in her blood, her bones, and her soul. Perhaps it was that siren song that called to her when she saw the edge where the water met the sky. Perhaps it was the peacefulness of the community itself. She didn’t know.
30. Even the suggestion of swimming be stirring. Watch a swimmer pass a building with a pool: the whiff of chlorine produces a wistful smile. Sit with swimmers when a TV commercial shows someone in the water: they actually stop and watch.
31. Being pool-trained, I’m used to seeing four sides and a bottom. When that clarity is removed I get nervous. I imagine things. Sharks, the slippery sides of large fish, shaggy pieces of sunken frigates, dark corroded iron, currents. I can swim along the shore, my usual stroke rolled and tipped by the waves, the ribbed sandy bottom wiggling beneath me, but eventually I get spooked by the open-ended horizon, the cloudy blue thought of that sheer drop-the continental shelf.
32. People who swim very well in troubled waters are respected and celebrated than those who swim excellently in calm waters.
33. You think about bathing in the sea – thick as velvet, supple and smooth as a wild animal. You think about swimming naked, and at night, with the stars, and a friend. Swim till you’re far from the world, and breathing together in the same rhythm, and free of absolutely everything.
34. The most risky day in the world will be the day the bird will decide to swim and the fish will decide to fly. Stay glued to what you can do.
35. I opened my eyes and watched the water stream past me. I let out some of my air and gazed at the cascade of silver bubbles dancing up to the surface.
36. And in the middle of the lake the woman I’d spoken with floated on her back, eyes closed, as if nothing in her many years had ever gone wrong.
37. Everyone plays guitar alone, but we can play side by side.
38. When you are learning swimming, try to swim like a fish! Target the best so that you can always easily reach good and better!
39. Buoyancy also lifts the ego when other body parts start to droop. Curvy people float better than lean beans, and women more than men, because even at our slimmest, we have an extra layer of fat distributed throughout our bodies.
40. The adults looked transfixed by Andee. When Andee finally swam a little closer, Siobhan could see why: the determined set of her mouth, the ferocity in her eyes. How much she wanted to finish. She would finish, no matter what. It would be cruel to stop her. And more to the point, if they ever were stranded in the ocean, Andee—who had been in the water for what felt like an eternity—would be the last to go down.
41. The night had a nearly liquid quality, was like sliding into a warm swimming pool, a pool filled with buoyant darkenss instead of water.
42. A dream without an action is like a fish without gills. It can’t survive.
43. In some sports, you can just get by on a lot of natural talent. In swimming, it helps to be long and lean, but you can’t be good at it without putting in the work. There is a direct connection between what you put into it and what you get out of it.
44. The Tourist Office would put it back up again before somebody noticed and didn’t come to Deanna for a holiday on the white sandy beaches, where they could watch little marsupial Braking Dolphins swimming backwards through the tour boats’ propeller in the strong current, or to blow up Cocka Snoek in the Whatoosie River with a little help from the Skeggs Valley Dynamite Fishing Club.
45. I pray every day, so I can see you bringing me a peace. It is daydreaming when I see your swimming in the sea; only peace that illuminates our day meet to radiate.
46. Only foolish fishes wish to fly!
47. When I can’t get to the sea water or to a tennis court, or out for a long, brisk walk, I work on stretch exercises at home. One that I do many times a day as I move around my apartment involves standing for a moment with my back again a wall. I dig my heels into the floor, stand straight, and place the palm of my hand between the small of my back and the wall. Keeping my chin level, I pull the crown of my head toward the ceiling. At the same time I push the small of my back toward the wall until there’s no longer room for my hand.
48. Swimming was the opposite of panic attack. Fluid and calm and quiet.
49. Yoga is swimming in the air.
50. If you’re a sailor, best not know how to swim. Swimming only prolongs the inevitable—if the sea wants you and your time has come.
51. It’s the colors that will make you stray. They sing to you, the not-blue and the searing light, and no matter how tightly you tie yourself to the inbetween, eventually you will break free.
No one swims only in the shallow water.
52. We’ll figure this out, I promise. I won’t let you sink.
53. At first, when a child meets something that scares him, the fear grows, like a wave. But when he goes into the water and swims – gets used to the water – the wave grows small. If we pull the child away when the wave is high, he never sees that, never learns how to swim and remains afraid. If he gets a chance to feel strong, in control, that’s called coping. When he copes, he feels better.
54. The key to success―keep swimming. Even when they tap you on the shoulder to say the pool has been drained, just keep swimming.
55. She grew daring and reckless, overestimating her strength. She wanted to swim far out, where no woman had swum before.
56. Love is like going snorkeling… You go along looking at pretty fish and cool plants until a wave rolls you over a coral reef… then the sharks come.
57. I ache to swim again. Walking’s for mammals.
58. I think of the friendships I’ve strained, the generosity I’ve exploited, the bridges I’ve torched. Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil; with them, forgive yourself. There may be hope for me yet.
59. I’ve been in the water so much these past few days, I swear I’m growing fins & scales.
60. I am swimming and it is just sunrise, the sky so gray as to be almost invisible. I rise to the surface to breathe and that’s when I see the dark shadow of a boat, gliding gently toward me in the water. Men ride in the boat, their faces grim and greedy and silent, and as I turn to watch them I feel a bite in my side, a piercing pain.