It’s been a while, I know.  I got a new job (yes!) and have been working out the details of a book deal for my memoir (more yes!) and all of this, coupled with my processing, has resulted in a much needed pause from writing and social platforms.  That being said, now that my memoir has found a home, I am working on my next project–a complicated compilation of anecdotes detailing my family’s history with suicide.  As I work through this, I will be sharing many of my ideas here–there is a lot of tension between men and women, and violence and peace, and I will be processing that in real time on this platform.  That’s my sort of trigger warning to readers.  I’m happy to be back and exploring new ideas–please continue to offer your beautiful words and feedback if you so choose.  And, if my words go in too dark a place for you, I understand.  We all heal in our own time, at our own pace.  Big love to each of you, as always.  Now, onto words…


It is the secret swimming of the men around me.  Their anger—how it ripples in the furrows of their brows.  In the parentheses around their mouths—like the afterthought of unkind words.  Lapping one another, fully clothed they drown in all the heaviness of sadness.

At the gym, the women walk around the locker room devoid of clothing.  Fresh from the pool, the chlorine drips from the tips of their hair and down onto their breasts.  Nipples alert, awake the skin it prickles at the chill of air.  We have conversations with each other, in which we take in the angles of the bodies and the colors of the words—they are all soft and sweet, dripping with honey like warm fry bread.

We do not carry anger like the men do.  In the water we glide weightless.  We do not tread or pant we cut straight lines through the current with ease.  Effortless.  In the secret swimming of the women, we cry and we move on.

Of course, there are rages.  They come hard and fast and quickly and we soak the anger up into our skin and in our air and then we breathe it out onto the surface of the water.  It makes us buoyant.  Little buoys in the surf.  We swim on.

The anger runs its fingers through the tendrils of our souls—but the poor men, how the anger closes its firm fist around their throats.  How it makes them gasp and scramble just beneath the surface for their air.  The women at the lining of the pool with outstretched hands you’re almost there; I’ve got you.

All the men are dying for their anger, but it would make me proud to die for love.



43 thoughts on “Swimming

    1. Hey, society is growing and evolving. I know it feels sometimes like it comes too late, but love has certain capacities. There is always room for growth and nurturing our spirits. I myself tonight learned an interesting lesson regarding my own too firm shortcomings. With time and effort, we can be better. Big love to you. We’re all in this together. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Also. I am sorry for the anger, and for the ways we all have allowed for it to grow. I am hoping to be better; to alleviate some of that hurt. My heart extends out to you, and feels with you, and for you. I can’t quite put it into words, but the feelings are there. I think that, maybe, together we can heal. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  1. DavidWBerner

    Congrats on your book! And, yes, men tend to have a coarseness under their skin. But I will say, I know men, many my friends, who are tender and caring, and many times that coarseness hides vulnerability that they have learned to conceal with that rough and tumble “anger”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh I love your words. And I hope you do not take this as an ability to recognize the potential softness of men. Rather, it is a sadness of mine that the lives of men seem tougher than the rest. I wish that our society offered you more nurture. That is all. Hopefully we can moving forward. Big big love to you. ❤️


  2. You have put your finger on it exactly, Shayleene. What is it, nature or nurture, that makes them unable to express, shed or let go of their deepest emotions? Why is it so hard for them? I wish I knew, that I had some magic formula to help them through it.
    Congrats on your memoir finding a home, such good news!
    Have a wonderful holiday. x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations, Shay, on the new job and the book deal. Good for you! I loved this paragraph: ” It is the secret swimming of the men around me. Their anger—how it ripples in the furrows of their brows. In the parentheses around their mouths—like the afterthought of unkind words. Lapping one another, fully clothed, they drown in all the heaviness of sadness.”

    I look forward to more of your writing. Blessings and Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There aren’t many men in my life, a couple of sons-in laws, neighbours, that sort of thing, but even those I watch from the corner of my eye, because their violence is only a heartbeat, a choice, away. Being a lesbian means that I don’t have to figure out how to engage intimately with that.
    I know there are good men out there, but they have stayed silent for far too long for me to trust them with anything more than a casual friendship.
    That your heart breaks to witness the pain of the good men around you says a great many brave and true things about you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ohhh… those are some profound words. I really am looking forward to thinking about those more later on. There is something about being so near to that anger and violence, and how it shifts and changes the way I interact and choose to live my life. Your words gave me a lot to think about. Thank you–it helps the things I am struggling to uncover and understand.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful and very visual. It is certainly true that gender holds a difference in how people manage and process anger. It’s also personalities. There are some in my family who process anger in short, hot bursts of rage that explodes and then is fully released. While others in my family keep their anger bubbling under the surface.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You certainly have a way with words…have you thought of being a writer? 😛

    Congratulations on the job and book deal!

    We come from a profoundly sociopathic society, one that was literally founded on slavery and genocide, and that still depends on the torment of the many so that the few can thrive. Men in our society are taught that they have to be strong, that they must always be in control, and that it’s their God-given right to rule. Yet most men quickly realize that they’ll never have any power, save for the ability to be miniature tyrants in their own families. No matter how much they rage, how hard they work, how much money they spend on education, they’ll always be nothing, simply because they weren’t born into the elite. If you’ll never be what you’ve always been told you must be – powerful (aka successful) – then why try?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is so exceptionally sad. But it resonates. I was actually reading a study today about why men suffer from the “man flu.” It is simply that, biologically, they need to be strong and be seen as strong. For a simple cold to knock them out is absurd, and they are hard wired to act as if every sneeze is taking the life out of them. It must be so complex to be a man and have to come to terms with these needs–and I can so easily see how not meeting them feels like an utter failure. Both my grandfather and my uncle committed suicide for many reasons–but what they had in common at the source of it was financial difficulties and business failure. They just couldn’t see their way past those failures. I hope, as a society, we can do better to support one another through complexities like this. I really appreciate your words here. Very thought provoking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Shayleene, I’m terribly sorry to hear about your grandfather and uncle 😦 Financial difficulties are so hard to deal with, especially when years of effort are washed away in an instant. I’m glad you appreciate my words, and I really hope that you’re doing alright.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Ken W. Simpson

    I loved to swim too – in the sea – early in the morning – just before sunrise – with lights from the night still burning – and all anger washed away – in the flow of the sea around me – as I ploughed towards the horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Congrats on your book. Oh men do have an anger and I must add a control issue sadly that is what I’m dealing with at the moment … I believe this is part of the reason of me changing becoming stronger and knowing I do not have to put up with it. I have way too long . Love this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is a certain strength we are forced to source from ourselves when dealing with the failures of others. And choices. Recognizing you are in the position of power allows you to step make and make decisions that are right for you. Sometimes it is important to step out for your own healing ❤ . Wishing you good vibes and blessings friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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