Sunday, January 24, 2016


I was so moved when I came across this photo by Christopher Campbell on It's so beautiful. It actually reminds me of one of my earliest memories. I was about two and a half years old, and my family was in Montana. I fell into the hotel swimming pool (or maybe I jumped in...), and my memory of this is SO strong—it was like slow motion as I went under. I kind of curled up and felt like I was inside an egg as I was floating. And then my sister pulled me out and it was over. Probably just a few seconds underwater left a life-long memory. It was like going into another realm. I remember also that once I got out, I thought there was soap in the water because my eyes were burning from the chlorine! Anyway, even though this image doesn't exactly convey how my experience must have looked, it's how I felt in some way.

This image could be seen as this girl floating in some kind of ecstasy. The way her body is curving with the bubbles coming from her mouth/nose gives so much movement—very slow—to the image. I'm just captivated by it.

Then, as I looked further into it, I saw drowning. I think it's because of the way she's just... I don't know... floating with her head falling back, knees relaxed, deep down in the water. It was just a thought. But then I felt compelled to find some kind of quote about drowning to overlay on the photo as my daily phrase. The poem I decided upon is by Emily Dickinson. Whether the phrase (which is the poem's title as well as its first line) is befitting of the image, I'm not exactly sure.

I read a few analyses of the poem. I'll give you a few:

"Don't let the image of a drowned man floating face up haunt you to the point of missing the paradox in the last four lines: death is an eternal resting place, yet few of us are in a hurry to get there." From

"This poem is about how drowning is not so bad. It talks about a man who tries to come up to the surface three times, only to see the sky but fall down forever, where he encounters "The Maker" and sees his familiar face. The poem ends talking about how even though it is shunned or ignored, we must admit or acknowledge it." From

"Although "Drowning is not so pitiful" (1718) is a poem about death, it has a kind of naked and sarcastic skepticism which emphasizes the general problem of faith. The poem's directness and intensity lead one to suspect that its basis is personal suffering and a fear for the loss of self, despite its insistence on death as the central challenge to faith. " From
I'm now inspired to read more Emily Dickinson poems. Do you have any favorites?

Also, if you are able to leave a comment here, please do so. I've been told that you actually can't leave comments even though I have received some... maybe you have to have a gmail account to do so. Any light on the matter would be appreciated!

By the way, the poem is below.

DROWNING is not so pitiful
  As the attempt to rise.
Three times, ’t is said, a sinking man
  Comes up to face the skies,
And then declines forever
  To that abhorred abode
Where hope and he part company,—
  For he is grasped of God.
The Maker’s cordial visage,
  However good to see,     
Is shunned, we must admit it,
  Like an adversity.