Rage – suburban swimming pool style

So, the first time I experienced lap lane rage, I was floating on my back.

I was in the outdoor waters of the Brunnie baths. Except in my mind, there was no Brunswick in said baths. I had taken myself off in my head to the warm waters of somewhere more exotic. Not necessarily overseas – but somewhere other than where I was at. I floated in the abyss, under a softly cloud streaked sky. Occasionally rolling a backstroke arm.

I drifted quietly in my soundless world, ears tucked up snug in a bad swimming cap. Until I bumped heads with an oncoming punter. Who while reminding me I wasn’t floating in Nirvana – I was in fact in a public pool in central Brunswick. On the right side of the lane when I should have been left. And if I couldn’t watch where I was swimming / floating / dreaming, he would kick my head in. Because only dorks wear swimming caps.

I remember mumbling something resembling an apology. Stating it was hard to keep appropriate lap lane alignment under a clearly chaotic cloud lined sky – but he splashed me with his flippered kick leaving me with a mouth full of chlorine.

I proceeded to slink out through the shallow end to the showers.
Licking my wounded ego as I left.

This week, I experienced lap lane rage again. Although this time I was dry.

I was still floating and dreaming. Some parts of our DNA is hard to change. But I was drifting through the letters of I-Spy with my youngest lad, sitting on the side of the pool.

When I saw through her fogged up goggles, the look of fear in my eldest wise one. Her eyes wide and her posture slunk inwards – hiding the shame of her wayward dreaming and right sided lap lane floating.

She too had been on her back. In her mind somewhere else rather than the OG public pool. Warmer waters of somewhere more exotic, where she could float in the abyss of the cloud streaked sky of her mind.

But she had drifted into someone. Or they had drifted into her. Twice. And this someone was feeling pretty angry. Enough so to tear shreds into my eldest wise one’s soul.

I pounced like a lioness. Getting there for the remnants of the attack. To find my eldest holding her breath to hide in the soundless world beneath the water. And the angry someone continuing her side stepping / arm reaching movement up and down the lane.

I instantly labeled her a wanker.

I watched the angry someone – wanting nothing more to simply tear her face off. Wanting to hold her stare with hatred in my eyes. Wanting her to ask me if anything was wrong. So I could tell her exactly what I thought was wrong. About her actions. About her behaviour. About herself.

A grown up adult wanker woman picking on a 9 year old child.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t speak to her, make eye contact with her, acknowledge her. In doing so I was thinking I was being a good role model for my small ones. I was thinking I was in control of the potent energy of my anger. I was thinking I was acting rather than reacting. Stepping back from the label I wanted to give her. Allowing for my pouncing ego to subside.

Sending compassion to this other random. Forgiveness to this other random. Love to this other random.

But really, I reckon I was scared. Scared for my eldest wise one. Scared for the random someone side stepping in the pool.

Scared for myself.

Think heart openers, forward bends and nadi shodhana.

The buddha says there are 3 things that cannot be hidden. The sun, the moon and the truth.

We are sitting under a full moon in scorpio. This sign often demonstrates intense emotional experiences to illuminate shadows. The unconscious stuff we don’t acknowledge or simply don’t understand.

As my ego charged forward I had convinced myself that I had stepped up to the plate with forgiveness and mercy. But I think I stepped up with fear. With memory. With shadow.

In saying “no” to screaming at this random, in saying “no” to screaming at the pool attendant, in saying “no” to screaming at the public pool lap lane policy in general – I allowed a space in service to myself. I remembered an embarrassment and owned it. I remembered a fear and embraced it. I remembered the fierce love a mother has for her child.

And honoured it.

With the pride of a hunting lioness.


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