“As you swim,” wrote Anaïs Nin,“you are washed of all the excrescences of so-called civilization, which includes the incapacity to be happy under any circumstances.” Nin wrote that whilst taking the waters off in Acapulco, Mexico, in the winter of 1947. New York City was another place. “In New York people seem intent on not seeing each other,” she went on. “Only children look with such unashamed curiosity.
So, how about stripping off and taking a dip in a New York open air pool? After all, swimming is good for the soul.
As Curbed writes: “In 1936 eleven WPA swimming pools opened in the city, giving New Yorkers sweet relief from the heat. The pools were feats of engineering for the time, plus each was architecturally distinct.”
You can see some of them here.
“The truth is an abyss. One must – as in a swimming pool – dare to dive from the quivering springboard of trivial everyday experience and sink into the depths, in order later to rise again … to the now doubly illuminated surface of things.”
– Franz Kafka.
“To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles…”
And indeed, that IS the question: whether to float with the tide, or to swim for a goal. It is a choice we must all make consciously or unconsciously at one time in our lives. So few people understand this! Think of any decision you’ve ever made which had a bearing on your future: I may be wrong, but I don’t see how it could have been anything but a choice however indirect — between the two things I’ve mentioned: the floating or the swimming.
– Hunter. S. Thopmpson
This summer I did swan dives
And jackknifes for you all
And once when you weren’t looking
I did a cannonball, I did a cannonball.
– Loudon Wainwright III, Swimming Song