Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT April 3rd 2023

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read a poem The Lifeguard ” by James L. Dickey, posted below.

Our prompt was: Stepping out from the earth onto the water, I ….

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

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Please join us for our next session Friday April 7th at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions.

"The Lifeguard " by James L. Dickey

In a stable of boats I lie still,
From all sleeping children hidden.   
The leap of a fish from its shadow   
Makes the whole lake instantly tremble.   
With my foot on the water, I feel   
The moon outside

Take on the utmost of its power.
I rise and go out through the boats.   
I set my broad sole upon silver,
On the skin of the sky, on the moonlight,   
Stepping outward from earth onto water   
In quest of the miracle

This village of children believed   
That I could perform as I dived
For one who had sunk from my sight.   
I saw his cropped haircut go under.   
I leapt, and my steep body flashed   
Once, in the sun.

Dark drew all the light from my eyes.   
Like a man who explores his death
By the pull of his slow-moving shoulders,   
I hung head down in the cold,
Wide-eyed, contained, and alone
Among the weeds,

And my fingertips turned into stone   
From clutching immovable blackness.   
Time after time I leapt upward
Exploding in breath, and fell back   
From the change in the children’s faces   
At my defeat.

Beneath them I swam to the boathouse   
With only my life in my arms
To wait for the lake to shine back
At the risen moon with such power   
That my steps on the light of the ripples   
Might be sustained.

Beneath me is nothing but brightness   
Like the ghost of a snowfield in summer.   
As I move toward the center of the lake,   
Which is also the center of the moon,   
I am thinking of how I may be
The savior of one

Who has already died in my care.   
The dark trees fade from around me.   
The moon’s dust hovers together.   
I call softly out, and the child’s
Voice answers through blinding water.   
Patiently, slowly,

He rises, dilating to break
The surface of stone with his forehead.   
He is one I do not remember
Having ever seen in his life.
The ground I stand on is trembling   
Upon his smile.

I wash the black mud from my hands.   
On a light given off by the grave   
I kneel in the quick of the moon   
At the heart of a distant forest   
And hold in my arms a child   
Of water, water, water.

Source: James Dickey: The Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 1998).

2 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT April 3rd 2023

  1. Stepping out from the earth onto the water,
    I opened my eyes and cried
    as the waters flowed past me
    carrying me into the bright harshness
    of physicality
    the weight of moving
    through water becomes habit
    but yet, an
    unending miracle
    a journey continuing
    as I too become earth
    giving birth
    as I too provide solace
    and safety


  2. Stepping out from the earth onto the water, I feel a lightness in my body and spirit.
    I am buoyed by the waves and ripples washing around me.
    The trials of the world have left me,
    and I am joyous as I glance at the moon above me… it welcomes me into this new realm
    where there is peace, and where there is no self-doubt.

    If I were to remain here the rest of my days, it would be too short.
    Tranquility of mind, body, and soul… I give thanks in silence.


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