BAPTISM BY WATER
Cleared to swim
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I live a five minute drive from the freshwater ocean of Michigan, a body of water that is hard to describe for those who haven’t seen it. It is called a Lake and by the fact of the matter it is indeed, a lake. The Caspian Sea is the biggest lake in the world which seems a little strange since it is called a Sea like, maybe it could have just stayed in the Sea category. After this you have Lake Superior and while Lake Michigan comes in as the fifth largest lake in the world it is the largest lake (by area) that is located entirely in one country.
When I go to the beach at the end of the road on the way down the peninsula you turn this corner and you’re at the top of a hill and suddenly you can see the whole thing. This is particularly satisfying when riding in a car with someone who has never seen it, someone who has continued to assume by lake I meant bigger than pond.
Six weeks ago I had a surgery that set in motion a complete and total portal of care and transformation. It has been an extremely hard and rewarding healing process, but the hardest part was not being able to swim. In the month of August, in a swim town.
At first I was in a lot of acceptance that it would be a few weeks, but as part of my body was healing longer than expected my no swim timeline went from two weeks, to three weeks, to five weeks.
I found myself using acceptance as a way to be present but I can also contort it into a tool of grief avoidance. At about the one month mark of not swimming I was finally honest with myself, a friend, and god, that I was feeling so much sadder than I was letting on that I hadn’t been able to dunk my head under the water, coming up for air just to hurl myself back under again and again.
The grief of not having something makes me think I must not be in enough gratitude for the things I do have. What I am learning though is when we add guilt to the grief, we’re really just fooling ourselves, blocking the whole truth. A truth that will either get stuck in the sternum or move through the body like the wave it misses.
Cleared to swim, I drove down to the beach to meet Jes. All the second home/part timers away for the fall and winter, just us on the beach. I slowly walked in and dove head first. Coming up for air I yelled and screamed and cried. I knew I would love how it felt to be under water but what I didn’t plan for was what it would feel to emerge with a chest that didn’t move. No boobs flying out of my swimsuit, no extra weight reminding me of a gender that didn’t fit my insides. Just two little swollen too hard for right now soon to be softer barbie boob A cups snug in the bikini Kim K made.
Baptism by water, perhaps this is what edging with nature is, perhaps this is why we go towards the grief. Three weeks without a swim would have been doable, but five weeks kept me in the awe and bounty of what I have. A daily reprieve, god giveth.
Film from June 2022 - August 2022
Fariha’s newsletter is one of my favorite things, our friendship is one of my favorite things, her books are my favorite things. Who Is Wellness For is such a gift, and in this newsletter I love how Fariha draws out the generosity of how she wrote it. That if you are a white reader - the first half of the book might jar you, but the second half sort of wraps you in like a good quilt a friend made. I found this read to be applicable even if you don’t identify as a woman but as a white reader, white friend, white person. May the untangling of white supremecy bring you into right relationship with yourself, the people you want to love and celebrate, and the great benefit of your neighbors and friends. I can’t recommend this book enough times - especially if you feel late to the table - pull up a chair and open this book
May this work never be a burden or chore or fear based practice, but one of great responsibility, resilience, and blossoming
Been praying a lot lately
Taking Passionflower tincture before bed is slowing down the thought loops and for that I am grateful
It is raining and I like that
Been playing this really loud lately
I just want Gabby and Rachel to date each other and I am patiently waiting for that to come true #bachelornation
Thank you to everyone who listened to me talk to Nicole Antoinette on her podcast all about MONEY and also watched me open my mail
Harry Styles saying the movie feels like a movie is me talking about anything
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Lake Michigan is located on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg—the Three Fires Confederacy of the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi peoples.