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I went swimming
   down at the shore.
It was quite refreshing
   I hadn't gone swimming in so long.
I slowly worked my wait out far
   as I usually do.
I noticed that I was drifting down shore
   but it somehow seemed okay.
But then I lost sight of my landmarks
   the sands once well known were gone.
But it didn't seem to matter
   the water was so cool and so deep.
I thought perhaps I wouldn't go back
   maybe I would stay out here forever.
I reveled in the thought
   everything I had known began to blur and fade away.
And the cool, deep waters were so pleasant
   melting away all the concerns of my heart.

Then I heard a voice calling from shore
   it somehow sounded familiar to me.
I looked to locate the shore
   yet the horizon was cool and blue in every direction.
Then I heard more voices calling
   they were warning me of danger.
I began to swim towards the voices
   somehow I was compelled.
I began to see the shore
   it hadn't changed as much as I had thought.
I then lost strength
   my arms and legs ceased to move.
The people on the shore began to throw something at me
   they looked like life preservers.
I mustered my strength
   I reached for one.
It held me up for a while
   but then it began to disintegrate as if made of tissue paper.
More life preservers were thrown
   I was suddenly surrounded.
Some lasted longer than others
   but all were destined to melt in the cool waters.
Oh, the cool, deep waters
   they began to sing to me again.
They sing a soft, soothing song
   one that penetrates my soul.
Yet these voices still call out
   they still try to persuade me to come in.
They throw at me their attempt at rescue
   yet I find nothing lasting, much to my indifference.

So here I am, floating, drifting,
   listening to the voices of the shore and the ocean.
Wondering how long I'll stay out here
   wondering if I will ever get back to shore.
If you see me when you pass by
   you might throw something in, if you'd like.

© 1998 (29 april) john r. chase

i like analogies. they help me feel like i'm expressing myself on a level playing field. so many of my friends tried reaching out to me in a difficult period of my life in the spring of 1998. i didn't slam any doors, but i know i made it hard for them. thanks, everyone for being a friend. it's walking through the tough times and coming out the other side singed, but still standing that strenghthens those ties.