Thursday, March 1, 2012
SLICE OF LIFE #1
The pool had two diving boards- a low dive and a high dive. I started jumping off the low dive as soon as I could swim. When I was really little, my dad would tread water under the board, and I would jump into his arms. Later there were crazy dive contests, and cannonball contests, and retrieve stuff off the bottom of the pool contests. The low dive was no big deal.
The high dive, though, was a different story. The high dive was really, really high. You had to climb up a metal ladder to get to the board. The steps were kind of slippery, or some days, hot on the bottoms of your feet. I was a little scared of those steps.
Not as scared, though, as I was of the actual diving board. The board, as I remember, was pretty narrow. You had to walk out over the water, looking straight out, because if you looked down, it felt like you were going to fall off one side or the other. And when you got to the end, it was a long way down into the aqua blue water.
I didn't go off the high dive for a long time. I was too scared. Scared to climb the steps, scared of walking on that narrow board, and scared of looking down into the water, not to mention scared of the actual jump.
When I was nine or ten, my dad convinced me to give it a try. I remember climbing up the ladder, then inching my way out onto the board. I inched a little way out, then backed up. My dad shouted encouragement from the side of the pool, and I turned around and tried it again. That time, I made it a little farther out, maybe halfway, before I turned around. And then tried again.
I remember making my way shakily out to the end of board. Looking down into that water. The turquoise blue. The circular patterns of light dancing on the surface. The pool drain far, far below. My dad shouting. Leaping. Plunging down, down, down. Splashing back to the surface. Clambering out of the pool to jump again. And again. And again.
And now, here I am, climbing the ladder to another narrow diving board. The SLICE OF LIFE WRITING CHALLENGE, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Write a slice. Every single day. For a whole month. And I'm terrified. Life is way full. I wonder if I can pull of the time. If I have anything to say. If anyone will read them.
I stood on this same diving board last March. And felt the same way. Maybe I couldn't write every day. Maybe I didn't have anything to say. Maybe no one would read them. But I jumped. And wrote. Every single day. For a whole month. And at first, thirty-one days seemed impossible. And then I had one week down. And two. And three. Writing. And writing. And writing. Checking my email several times each day to see what people had said about my writing. And commenting back.
And then it was March 31st. And I had done it. A whole month. Thirty-one slices.
I'm gonna take the plunge again this year…