night swimming

Back in the early 90’s I was listening to REM’s album, Automatic for the People. I loved just about every song especially, Night Swimming. It reminds me of sneaking into the pool near my college, Principia & skinny dipping alone.

More than a decade later I thought of the song while night swimming at Saddam’s Palace Pool in Iraq. I  had to fly over to Baghdad from Fallujah for a few days to talk with the State Department which was stationed inside one of the Palaces. They had an amazing pool out back that sat under a giant Banyan Tree. Helo flights were always at night because it was safer, so I arrived after midnight, I humped over to the Embassy in my stinky cammies, with protective gear & weapons. They gave me a room out back near the pool. Once in my room I put on  a swim suit under some workout clothes & walked over to the pool. By now it was nearly 2:00 am, most people were sound asleep & the pool had been closed for hour. First I sat & meditated a bit on the giant tree in front of me, then I made myself invisible & slid out of my workout clothes & into the pool. I was so quiet as I glided across the surface, floating, looking at the walls of this palace feeling a sort of in awe of this place, the history, etc. And here I was night swimming, a Captain in the United States Marine Corps practically naked in Iraq, swimming after hours. It was magical & I felt transported, baptized perhaps of all the trauma imparted  around me.

Fast forwarding a few years to our backyard garden pool here in Houston where we swim every night. Last night Finnegan had to have the light on, which is much to powerful for the small pool it lights up, so it was on & I took a bunch of pictures of him swimming. We call him Ponyo because he such a fish, so natural in the water. Perhaps it is all the floating I did when I was pregnant with him.

Enjoy the photos & here is the video of REM singing Night Swimming. Great memories.

 

 

 

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remembering Megan

Major Megan McClung

Today I am remembering my fallen friends, Maj Megan McClung, SSGT Mike Dickenson, Maj Mike Martino, and Cpl Salem Bachar. . This is part of my daily struggle – I don’t believe in war yet I mourn all those who we have lost in these conflicts. So today I take a moment or two to remember everyone who has lost their life, limbs, brain usage, and soul.

My prayer is that we will wake up and come home. Please bring us home.

let us not forget

I took the photo below for a book cover I was thinking about writing. The beautiful woman is Capt Julienne Shin. Perhaps I will write it someday. The photo to me

depicts the fullness or whole-ness of many who serve.

More meditation is always a good idea.

In war I saw the devastation and cruelity of humanity at it’s worst and I also witnessed exhileration and tears of gratitude for the expansive love and generosity of the human spirit. In this space of great divided possibilities I captured many insights  in the journals I kept. I thought about calling the book, “Slaying the Dragon.”

We’ll see . . . for now it feels too painful and stressful to dive into.

Slaying the Dragon

Slaying Dragons