In Which We Are Careful Not to Drown

I don’t know what we are; smooth scaled and slimy. The residue of a thousand kisses clinging to our bodies like algae on the sides of a neglected tank. Slough it off, those memories that do better without us. People untangled from ourselves.

His grandmother warned me as we packed up the kayaks for a new adventure. Wear a life jacket, she said. That lake is known for taking prisoners, the plants that reach up to the surface and clench tightly around wrists and ankles, pull us down. There was a boy who drowned there last year, she told me. Don’t take any risks.

I can’t help it. I trail my fingers along the crest and open my eyes  under water. I dive head first into shallows and embrace the lake floor, my fists closing around sand and stone, particles drifting up, glinting in the soft light of afternoon.

I take pictures without film and get them printed immediately at the grocery store. Flipping casually out of a machine. I miss the wait of development. I miss film canisters. Little treasure troves where we could store beads, fools gold, baby teeth. It’s so immediate, now. I tell time in album folders on my computer. I remember my life in snap shots and delete what is irrelevant to the story I am writing today.

Heartbreak in footnotes edited away. Happiness floating face up just below the surface, distorted.

Seaweed fingers sticking to our thighs as we


wade back in.

Bedouin Soundclash feat. Coeur De Pirate – Brutal Hearts


15 thoughts on “In Which We Are Careful Not to Drown”

  1. I wish you didn’t tack videos on the end of your posts. It feels like a gimmick and distracts from the writing.

    Everyone can now wade in and hate me, but it’s well intentioned feedback.

    1. I do it for myself. Usually the music is inspiration for what I write or is what I listen to on repeat while I write. I thought about writing separately about music but I rarely have time to update this blog let alone another. Honestly, I like other blogs that do similar things considering those who want to listen can press play and those who don’t can ignore it.

      Is it really that distracting?

  2. Lyrical, beautiful, and haunting all. Thanks to Elizabeth Black for linking to this post! I’ll be coming back for more 😉

    (and no, I don’t think embedded videos are a bad thing!)

  3. I’m always happy to see a post from you.

    I fear that sloughing off. The loss of some overarching perspective.

    We never really have it anyway. We have slices. That’s how we stay sane. Still, I file my memories scientifically.

    It’d be freeing to shed the excess one of these days.

    I like this song.

  4. I can’t speak for anyone else, but yes, from my perspective I think it’s a distraction. Your writing ought to stand alone. But then I’d like to see you do something more narrative, I’d like to see you write all sorts of different things. The blogosphere is already too full of formless non-storytellers and you have a real talent which marks you out from them – or could do.

  5. Well, I wasn’t going to weigh in here, because, at 6’0″ and 136 pounds, I really don’t have a lot of weight to throw around, but I just can’t resist.

    (I do have a big mouth…)

    As I think I may have mentioned on here before, I’ve never once clicked on the video/music link at the end of one of Lindsay’s posts. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of getting addicted– one of the reasons why I’ve tried drinking.

    To me, Lindsay’s words stand on their own, and I’ve never felt myself wanting after reading one of her posts, never felt the desire for anything else, because she’s so consistently strong and moving. Maybe there are other writers like her in the blogosphere– but there are bloggers like each one of us in the blogosphere. And that’s okay.

    And, lastly– those links are only distracting if you click on them. Trust me.

    Keep wading back in, Lindsay.

  6. gorgeous post, per usual…and i do mean the entire post, video included. i enjoy examining the writing with the video & music, trying to guess the correlations and parts that inspired you…i consider both elements to make up the entire “work of art.”

    [hint to the video naysayers: telling someone -especially as talented as her- that they shouldn’t embed a video in their post is kinda like telling Shaun White that you loved his run but hated the color of his equipment:
    a) he doesn’t care what you think on any level, trust me
    b) it just kinda makes you sound a little…well, dumb]


    1. JTWhitaker – it was clearly well intentioned constructive feedback and I went out of my way to say that she was talented. You, on the other hand, are just being an arsehole.

  7. beautiful imagery as always, but this time it is felt in the soul. i, too, miss the waiting and anticipation for pictures to develop.

    the immediateness takes away from the treasured moment. i always kept the bad pictures, now they’re easiest to delete.

    not as dramatic as tearing them up.

  8. Lakes are so haunting and creepy—and romantic. I love how you wove the imagery together in this post, lady. Truly beautiful.

    (And I, for one, appreciate the music videos. I don’t always listen, but I do take note of the band/the song.)

  9. “I tell time in album folders on my computer. I remember my life in snap shots and delete what is irrelevant to the story I am writing today.”

    a wonderfully accurate depiction of today

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