My Octopus Friend: An Evolving Friendship (Part 4)

15-June-outside-the-vace
Marked by missed encounters, stormy weather and frothing seas, Part 4 of my octopus series covers encounters 6-10 from 13-20 June 2021. Deeper connection simply produced more questions and curiosity within me. The octopus began to occupy my psyche in new ways and I struggled with the concern that ou...
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Poem: On Being a Leaf

sleeping-beauty
Autumn washes over me and I feel the rhythms within shifting and slowing just as I witness the earth and nature around me settling in for winter. Taking a hike with the boys in the woods I felt much energy in the death and decay surrounding us knowing it simply gives way to new life. My own caterpillar heart is filled with summer sustenance prepari...
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Moonset Swimming at Dawn: Treacherous Enchantment

moon-over-sea Harvest Moon 21 Sept 2021 from the Sea
Tuesday (21 Sept 2021) will live in my body and mind in a powerfully visceral way for a long time. Before waking I had a brief vague dream, right on the edge of consciousness. Bold capital letters, first in red then in black, flashed across my forehead: FEAR, FEAR. I awoke, disturbed. A premonition? Assessing, I told myself, There's nothing to...
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My Octopus Friend: The Embrace (Part 3)

final-farewell Final Farewell After the Embrace
In Part 3 of my octopus encounters series, I move from the porch of the Doorway to Wonder and enter into Mof's (My Octopus Friend's) den. Here is what happened when I took that risky, leap of faith. In overflowing the cup, the master shows the man how he must let go of that which he already thinks he knows – he must empty his cup – in order to real...
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My Octopus Friend: The Doorway to Wonder (Part 2)

11-june-doorway-to-wonder 11 June - Squatting in front of the Unassuming Doorway to Wonder
In the previous article, experiencing silence and stillness opened the doorway to my encounter with the octopus. When my mind stilled, my awareness heightened opening my senses to observe the subtleties in the environment. I made a simple yet profound discovery, a sleeping octopus hidden in its cave. This article explores how I began to open the do...
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My Octopus Friend: Stillness Speaks (Part 1)

11-June-contact The Octopus and I reach out to one another on 11 June 2021
On 8 June 2021, by coincidence World Ocean Day, I began an unexpected, marvelous friendship with an octopus I began to call Mof (My Octopus Friend). Even though we only had 14 encounters together until she simply vanished after 24 June, I know that these unique moments of wondrous connection, communication and co-creation of a familiar bond, even f...
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The Whirlpool

The-whirlpool-cover
Swimming at Dawn began to recount my journey to the sea. Journeys, though, evolve and take on new life as the path unfolds. I love immersing myself in all forms of water and while I was swimming in the sea, I was also going to the pool or taking hikes with my family along riverways and inspiring spots that simply called out to me and begged to...
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Poem: The Wave of Doubt

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We're All Interconnected: Womb Pool Reveries

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I made this short video after a sunrise immersion in a calm pool in late March 2021. The immersive experience was not just in the water but in the entire tidepool environment where stillness and observation helped open my eyes to the many wonders always around us but which often go unperceived due to our inability to 'see'. I'm aware I've only...
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365: Coming Full Circle

P3140043-3 The Waves Call Me Home on Day 365
365Tears upon the shoreLaughter into the windJoy in the wavesA year swimming at dawnA gift of a lifetime!  In mid-March 2021 swimming at dawn for one year came full circle. I swam or immersed myself every day, at least once, for 12 months, four seasons, 52 weeks, 13 moon phases, 365 days. I am not a numbers person but I am proud of this empowe...
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The Ocean Gives Me Strength

IMG_20201223_093230-3 Don't Mess With Me Unless You Want to Face the Sea. Stand strong and believe in yourself.
My simple ocean song states, "The Ocean it speaks, it speaks to me, it speaks through me." Many things it says, but over and over, loud and clear, it says: Be strong! Believe! Mesmerizing vitality, power, limitless energy, beauty, constant change and ruthlessness all well up from the ocean's unfathomable depths inspiring, moving and motivating me. ...
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My Body the Ocean: Swimming My Song

P9230134-2 My Body the Ocean - I sing my song to the sea.
Even with the windows closed, I can hear the deep, powerful resonance of the ocean, a 20-minute walk away from my house. I live on a hill that looks down upon the sea. It's too far to hear individual waves crashing but close enough for the collective roar to float up and surround my consciousness as a constant presence. Even though I am often not a...
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365 Days - Day 60 - Two Month Recap

IMG_20200511_073027 60 Days at Dawn - My spirit soars to the sea like this eagle cloud in flight as it swoops down to the sea
When I wrote this on Day 60 I had no idea that I would still be swimming at dawn every day and now be close to Day 300 as I publish this. I am proud of my journey as I look back and see how far I have come and what I have done since then, a day I thought might be the last. Keep surprising yourself! Keep trusting the journey! The phot...
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365 Days - Day 16: Facing the Wind

IMG_20200330_08104_20210110-194246_1 A violent dawn sky on the windy day. A cloud man swirls his arms blowing the wind towards the ocean.
It was just 'wind' when I wrote this on Day 16, just the beginning of my sea pilgrimage. From my open water swimming experiences I knew of course that different wind conditions can make swimming a great challenge. Also local weather knowledge tells us that wet storms blow from the SW and the cold wi...
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Finding My Voice in the Waves

Dawn Swimmer and Mariña, the Mermaid of Salvora Dawn Swimmer and Mariña, the Mermaid of Salvora Island
It's hard for me to imagine a more moving personal challenge than swimming at the edge of the open Atlantic from the island of Sálvora to the fishing port of Aguiño. One day in summer 2020 I overcame both real and irrational fears to do this swim, a swim I hadn't even set for myself as a challenge. Many layers of meaning un...
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180 Days at Dawn

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Empowerment. This photo captures for me what 180 days immersing myself in the cold Atlantic at dawn has done for me. I see a strong woman in that photo taken in dawn's glorious light next to my favorite changing rock that has become my shadow play backdrop.  In this photo I sense and feel strength, confidence, openness, power an...
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Swimming in the Fog: Descent into the Fog, Return into the Light

IMG_20200826_113314_219 Sun starts to break through fog on return journey.
 It's hard to imagine nature mirroring more profoundly a common mental, inner process than this morning's walk and swim in the sea. Who doesn't experience 'mental fog' from time to time, ie, a lack of clarity, vision or feel overwhelmed by doubt? This sequence of four photos focused on the same view show my descent into the fog....
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365 Days: Day 2 - Developing the Daily Ritual

IMG_20200330_083104 What became the daily 'uniform' for swimming at dawn
I write from the present about the past. At first I didn't take notes. I had no idea when I started that swimming at dawn would become a daily ritual. This daily journey to the sea simply evolved spontaneously. Then, as I began to realize its significance and value to me, I began to record each day, through photos and words, of how this p...
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Swimming My Verses: Poetry & Open Water Swimming

P8050067 Elementals: Hand. Aqua. Bubble. Water.
Blue. Green. Tree. Breath. Arm. Hand. Bubbles. Sun. Moon.  Sometimes when I'm open water swimming, with my mind full of thoughts and I want to clear it, I turn to elementals like primary colors. Single words for single moments. I turn my head to breathe, life giving agent, and there is the Sky. Cloud. Pink. Sun. S...
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Swimming Towards the Light

IMG_20200730_080741-2 Swimming towards the light and reflecting on the new day. Grateful. Peaceful. Being. Only my dark side is visible.
Swimming at dawn also signifies for me swimming towards the light, ie, towards discovery, inner understanding as well as simply being, experiencing joy and living in the moment. At the same time there is an implicit swimming away from something - the dark, the night, the doubt, the hidden, unclear parts of th...
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