i love swimming.

i'm tempted to say that i like swimming pools most of all but that's just not true. every body of water is attractive to me. if we ever meet in person, i will regale you with my innumerable aquatic adventures: sneaking onto private beaches, swimming with sharks, running on sandbars, wrestling jellyfish and geese, chasing barracudas, joining a school of silverfish, nightswimming, skinny-dipping, bodysurfing during a storm. i have assumed false identities, snuck under fences, and jumped off of bridges to get to the rivers, pools, and oceans where i want to swim. during moments of weakness (or courage depending on how you think about it), i have even swum in canals, quarries, fountains, and the wrong end of walden pond.

the only thing, in my mind, that distinguishes swimming pools is the way light reflects on their bottoms. if i have goggles with me, i can spend hours -whole days- studying the electric squiggles on the floor of a pool. i can control those squggles of course. by moving my body, by sinking, by splashing. if i rest my fingers at the very surface of the water, the light on the floor seems to dance in my hand. which reinforces my swimming pool fantasy: that i am superhero, weightless, strong, and in possession of magical power.

the O-Ring Ad Agency commissioned this illustration for a poster they designed on behalf of the Jewish Community Center of New Jersey. my friend robert overholser helped me with the color.

© 2003 rama hughes