Just Keep Swimming.


Wherever I live, I make sure it’s close to a swimming pool. I gravitate towards large, outdoor pools with abundant lap swim lanes and once discovered, a part of me relaxes. It feels like coming home, diving into the clear water and seeing the familiar black line that has always kept me aligned. I grew up a swimmer so the water feels like my second home. Recently I was introduced to Lisa Congdon’s book “The Joy of Swimming: A Celebration of Our Love for Getting In the Water,” and she sums up the relationship between art and swimming so eloquently:

There has always been a fixed and steady connection for me between art making and swimming. Both of these passions require similar things of me: enormous discipline and a unique form of endurance. They also provide motivation and direction in my life like no other pursuits.

Like art making, swimming is at the same time a rigorous exercise and also a form of play. It is also for many people a source of energy, vitality, and healing. Water wakes us up and holds us in times of distress or change. It allows the awkward to move with grace, the heavy to feel light, and the disabled to feel accomplished. It is an emotional blanket in times of recovery and vulnerability.
— Lisa Congdon, The Joy of Swimming

So here’s to the swimmers and the artists (that’s YOU!) out there. We all know the hardest part is putting on our suit, bracing ourselves against the cold, walking along the freezing cold pool deck and getting IN the pool. Once we’re in, we’re good. The hardest part for artists is getting started and facing the fear that it ‘might not work’ and just making the thing anyways.

Just keep swimming. And making art. One lap, one brushstroke, one sentence.

But first you have to jump in.