A Woman is always an Island / by sierra stinson

Longtime friend and collaborator Serrah Russell asked me to be in her next series 'A Woman is always an Island' We drove out to my favorite swimming spot at Lake Washington on a cold February morning and I jumped in.

More images from her series here

post swim - photo by Serrah Russell

post swim - photo by Serrah Russell

 

great leaps or lung collapses

i wanted to laugh at the scene but it was too beautiful                                               

i wanted to laugh at myself but i was too vulnerable                               

my body isn't my body anymore it's changed this year and i look at it like a foreign landscape

So I lept                                                      and I sunk deep into the iciness drifting down

then up to the surface                     i float
my breath was cut in half and i couldn't gasp or make out words                                       there wasn't enough oxygen
it was colder then cold

i waded and paddled              i thought about how i've never been a good swimmer                               how i've never spent enough time in the water
how i am afraid of this world
of risk                                                     of leaving the comfort of my city
of my home                                                     of my state of being

how i am not mighty

and i don't get to decide.                           here.                                            every limb desensitized

purple and pink flesh

my middle finger is still numb slightly                                                                                appropriately so