Voices on the Wind Voices on Relaxation
Slalom by David Southward Handed the clammy vest that says You’re on, you suck air into your lungs—shocked at how cold the fabric is—and pull the straps snug, fasten the buckles, plunge into the lake and catch your breath. Here it comes: the one ski, your hump-backed nemesis parting the water. You force it under to try on the rubber shoe, squatting and swearing it’s too tight. The vest’s shoulders ride up to your ears. With one foot in, the other must cross behind to find its docking slip. Wedged into your equipment, you wobble helpless as a buoy. Someone laughing throws the tow-line just out of reach, splashing your face. You lurch sideways with flailing hands, hobbled by your merman boot, and wriggle toward the handle like a walrus badly wounded. Get a grip. Get upright. Lean back. Bend your knees. Forget all you’ve been taught and give the thumbs-up to gun the engine. Welcome the rapids gushing from the propeller, pummeling your nose, your eyes. Don’t let go or lean in too soon. Sit back on the ski, let laws of physics gradually lift you to the surface: reborn, clean. Shake the water from your eyes; gesture to your driver to go faster. Stand firm on the whipped meringue of which you are the master.