Friday, January 16, 2009

I've decided to use imagination therapy to escape the cold.

You know how you use aromatherapy to mask that you just cooked brussels sprouts, or, in my case, that my sons are visiting?
You know how you use physical therapy to fix the kink you got in your neck from having sex in the backseat of a Corolla?
You know how you use shock therapy to tell your mother that, yes, you are pregnant...again?

Well I am using imagination therapy because it is twenty three degrees below zero outside. I had to spell it completely out in words, not numbers, because it is truly that bad.
And so, as I sit here with my fingers curled around a hot cup of tea, I have decided to pretend it is summer.
Come along, close your eyes and join me:

It is hot. Really hot and humid and as the day progresses, it just gets hotter. The sun is so relentless you can smell it's heat and it creeps into every corner of the house and melts the candles and exhausts the dog and turns the children into lolling, crabby monsters.
But, it's a full moon tonight and the call goes out from Trudy: FULL MOON GODDESS PARTY, TONIGHT AT DARK.
We gather at her pool, just after ten, in our bathrobes.
We bring wine and tell stories and laugh. We hang our towels high on the stockade fence.
We skinny dip.
It doesn't matter that our bodies wear our pasts: the stamps of having children, old injuries, surgeries and abuses; it doesn't matter that we droop here and sag there; that we no longer have waists and that the tops of our arms wave like flags.
We are women who need the water on our skin tonight. The pool accepts us easily and we immerse ourselves into this womb-like place.
The bats from the old house next door fly and swoop, feasting on summer insects, and they just miss the tops of our heads and still we float, our toes and fingers getting all pruney.
The water is cool but the air is so hot and our bodies are so hot that the water is a baptism of joy. It is so dark we can barely see each other, just the light patterns the moon paints on the water's surface.
We swim lightly, treading water, talking in lowered voices.
We are careful not to laugh too loud, but we do laugh, deeply and often, at moments only this sisterhood can understand.
We look up and see the full moon smiling at us and the incredible clusters of stars scattered in the dust of the Milky Way. Someone asks Renata, who recently took an astronomy course, how to tell which constellation is which.
"How the fuck should I know,'' she replies, sending us rippling into laughter, giggling like girls instead of strong women bent under responsibility and duty.
Trudy cannonballs off the diving board, the moonshine flashing white over her nude wet skin.
We finally cool and begin to climb out, wrapping ourselves in our robes, leaving the heat and oppressiveness of the day back in the pool, letting it drown.
"Good night,'' we say to each other. "Good night." And we head to our homes and our husbands and our lovers and our children. We are refreshed, washed and cooled, reborn from the heat of the day by the cool of the night.

Today, deep in mid-January, the pool is dark, its waters choked with fall's jeweled leaves. Ice covers its surface and the bats are long wrapped in their cloaks of hibernation. My sisters of the water are scattered here and there, keeping their home fires as Winter's breath chills and burns and encases us.

But we can dream. We can slip into a memory.
We can close our eyes and swim in the heat of the summer.

10 comments:

Dawn on MDI said...

Oh, that was beautiful, and how I heeded it today. The steel toes and shanks in my boots have chilled me through. It is so cold outside that I cannot go out to work on my new project that has me VERY excited. It is a frustrating time. It only lasts a few days, but it feels much longer. Hang in there.

Gladys said...

Oh that was nice. I could feel the heat and the water. I enjoyed to dip and the sisterhood. I miss that.

Oh and you asked what movie? How about something fluffy and light like Cat On A Hot Tin Roof ;)

SassyDog said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am imagining you being warm and cozy in that below zero weather. Brutal is all I can say about that kind of weather I love the idea of imagination therapy. I am imagining that I finally found a job! Also that I am enjoying a big steaming bowl of chowda as ya'll say up north!!

Neas Nuttiness said...

Okay - I've got to know if the back seat sex in the Corolla really happened?

Gladys said...

Nea I was wondering the same thing but then again wasn't sure I really wanted to know ;)

Queenie said...

Okay ladies, here's the real truth: it was a 1965 Plymouth Fury, convertible, teal in color. Long and lean. I was 17. He was 18. We looked so very cool tooling through the plaza in that thing, each of us smoking Marlboros, red pack, and the radio cranked to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons screeching "Big Girls Don't Cry."
I married him a year later, by the way.

Tatersmama said...

I was transported... and damn, but it felt good!
I just want to know if I can join your sisterhood?
*sigh*

A Spot of T said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if every woman could be a part of a sisterhood like that. *sigh* And even though we have done an about face weather wise where I am...+8 C...I definitely needed a moment to 'get away'. What a great visual I had reading this.

trudylookingglass said...

Amazing that you wrote about this today. Last night as I was getting under the covers of my warm bed, I glimpsed the painting of our goddess swimming nights. Yes, there is a painting, of which we all have a print, and there is a quilt, AND there is a SONG. I went to sleep trying to remember all the words to the song. Who has a recording of it? Maybe one of us should come up with a commemorative martini!

Oh, and by the way, Sharon is not 100% correct when she says we are careful not to laugh too loud. "Some" of us are careful. After all, I live in a neighborhood and we sometimes stay in the water until after midnight. But she and Renate have mighty boisterous voices and the rest of us have a hard time swallowing the occasional screech!!! A neighbor way down the street once repeated the pool conversation word for word to me the day after a goddess swim night! I am so thankful for these friends and these memories!

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