Silent Swim School (sssh)

(To be read aloud)

Nestled between the words and actions of the day Silent Swim School makes space for listening and thinking. I was going to say something meaningful that explored the space between things that allow other things to happen but then:

An airbus 320 broke the silence
Rising to 64db
every 7 ½ minutes.
From the South East Looping round Croyden
From the North West Heading towards Whitchapel before crossing the river
and following the same path.

And I thought about these spaces
inside a cardboard box and under a chair
between the blue drink and the toilet
through a concrete aperture that let in the sky
between a radar and the satellite
between image and idea
the body and the mind
the misanthrope and the world

You are on your own but we are together
the holes in my teeth filled with amalgam and composite
my left arm wedged between a strangers breasts
there is nothing between the sea and the sky on a child’s drawing

The sun shines through leaves creating perfect circles on the floor
And the only thing I can think of now
Is that I once I saved a fish with a pebble stuck in its mouth.

So here are some suggestions

Move Slowly into the water
Hands in first
then head
Let the cold bite

You might make an involuntary sound when your body meets the water

Your temperature drops
You are getting closer

Swim slowly upstream and stay still
Avoid the cloud of flies
Listen to the birds in the trees
Look at your skin through an orange filter
Ripples reflecting
Dislodged seeds floating on the skin of the water
Mud and stones underfoot
Branches resting on the surface
Light and dark reflections
Sky and trees

Someone talks in the distance an you hear him say to his companions
(you are the cleverest people I know)

run and play rough
duck & dive
eat & drink
spit, spout and nose blow
stand on shoulders
play horse
pet heavy
push and bomb

but remember not to talk.

Silent Swim School was originally developed for Jamboree 2018 // A National Gathering of Artists & Curators – Dartington, Totnes UK and was adapted (as an under the radar event) for b-side Festival 2018 // Portland, Dorset


Silent Swim School (River Dart) 2018 – Image Andy Ford

Silent Swim School (River Dart) 2018 – Image Andy Ford

Silent Swim School (Church Ope Cove) 2018