Into the Deep

Our daily walks take us along the Boise river. Depending on the time of year, we see kayakers, anglers, inner-tubers, and people enjoying all manner of fun.

Strategically placed, the river swing is an ever-popular pastime on hot summer days. To enjoy the fun, all you have to do is gain enough momentum so that when you release your grip, you’re well past the sheer drop-off, splashing feet-first into the bracing, deep water.


In July I eluded to a secret. I’m not quite ready to reveal it, but I’ve gained momentum, am well past the sheer drop-off point, and am about to release my grip into the invigorating deep.

When was the last time you let go and joyfully flew head or feet first into the deep?


52 thoughts on “Into the Deep

  1. Deep into the unknown was only two weeks ago on stage, performing my songs. It was my first solo concert and it was exhilerating to say the least. I wonder what joyful leap you are about to take. 🙂

  2. I fly feet first. And I’ve done it often. Leaving home, going to college, getting married, moving to new places, having children, becoming a college president, publishing my memoir. I love a new adventure, and I love cheering you on as you stand on the bank and take the swing in your hands. Whee!

  3. I’m a cautious person. I tend not to fly feet first into things, but I would say having children-especially the first one–was probably my biggest leap into the unknown.
    Of course, there’s that first time you hit “publish” on a blog post. 🙂
    I’m curious to hear about your secret, and excited for you, too!

  4. Your photos invite fond memories of inner-tubing on the Ichetucknee River in Florida and scary thoughts of white-water rafting on the Ocoee River in Tennessee. I married an adventurous spirit and have hung on for the ride for nearly 49 years now. Yet Cliff is such a rock as I fly head-first into memoir writing after so many years in academia.

    What a tease you are! When are you going to reveal that secret? I’m dying to know.

    • Marian — How fortunate you are to be married to an adventurous man! I love the word picture you painted: “have hung on for the ride…” I’ve only white water rafted once on a beginner course, that was plenty scary !

      (Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to reveal a good portion of my secret the first Tuesday in January)…

  5. Curious about your secret. For me… I think it was almost a couple of years ago when I left my job to go exploring other options. Things didn’t work out as I expected but…

  6. You really are keeping us in suspense!
    I am not the greatest or strongest of swimmers, so learning to surf at age 40 was a major achievement for me. More recently, I forced myself to swim across a fairly large lake in The Loire valley and the Charente river, both in France. I do enjoy pushing my limits, as I get bored with routine all too easily.

  7. I think I shared when entering first grade I told my mom as we were waiting to be called into our classrooms “go home or they won’t call my name (poor mom)” and off I went! I’m a feet first type of gal.
    In my early 30’s I produced (learning as I went) a career oriented video tape and curriculum, organized several conferences receiving national coverage for one, and represented a national women’s organization at a couple stockholder meetings raising concerns on improper marketing of infant formula in third world countries and the lack of women’s representation on corporate boards (back in the 70’s). I was almost booted out of a Standard Oil Corporation meeting for challenging the Chairman with their own data. I should have let them do it (better press coverage).
    Recently I collaborated as a steering committee member of a group which successfully collaborated with other conservation groups to win approval (a few years ago) from the Department of Interior for a new bi-state national refuge (continue as a board member of the refuge friends group).
    I have a couple of other possibilities on a personal level in process.
    The key is to move through and past the cringie moment and say YES!

  8. The word I chose to guide my year is “tenacity” and I have tied it on like a cape of opportunity. Every time I wanted to hesitate because of self doubt I just ran a couple of steps forward and tenacity would carry me the rest of the way. Hence, I have had a good year and some surprises of my own coming up early in 2016. But I am most excited about your leap Laurie because you have been eyeing up that swing for a long time. I can hear your yell of excitement as your feet touch the surface way out in the deep! Congratulations!

    • Terrill — Artist that you are, I love the “cape of opportunity” word picture you painted. And “tenacity” (regardless of the year), suits you to a T. You’ve had an incredible year with your artwork shipping from Mayne Island to destinations all over the globe! Way to rock the art world boat!

  9. Laurie, that’s an easy one for me. That would be July 15th, 2015. The day that I accepted a proposal of Marriage from Dennis Coulter. Having been childhood sweethearts, many years and miles separated us throughout many of our adult years. Having reconnected, we discovered a spark had remained buried and given oxygen, rekindled into a warm and loving relationship. In other words, I am in deep and rejoicing for it!

  10. Thank you for these beautiful photos, Laurie.
    I feel like I let go and dive in more or less daily when I send my manuscripts to publishers and literary agents. It’s scary but gets easier the more I challenge myself.

  11. From an extremely shy child and teen I gradually changed into a feet first person, but strangely this change didn’t really start until after my then husband and I separated. I was 30 and had to first learn to stand on my feet. Over the years I’ve had to deal with a lot of crap coming my way from my parents dying when I was young, living in poverty to ill health and after coming out of a depression in my mid-thirties, I got going to change – had to. So now as a senior I’ve become loud and speak my mind – often others chastise me for this. My comment? I’m too old to care.

    But really I do care about taking action – and have done lots with my writing and getting published, my son and consumer advocacy – too much to list. The latest is similar to another commentator – although not singing on stage for the first time. Trust me you don’t want to hear me sing. What I did, was at the end of October, as part of a public presentation by my writers’ group, I dressed up as the main character in my Beyond Blood novel, ran up on stage and basically dissed the author (me). It was a lot of fun and the audience got a kick out of it. I’ve done a couple of variations of this since then and the editor at my publsiher’s (who has acting experience) wants to team up with me next year for novel character presentations. He is also a published novelist.

    Maybe, that’s my secret. Laurie, I too am curious about your secret


    • Sharon — Oh my gosh, I love that you dressed up at your book’s main character and got up on stage; that takes a lot of guts! And the fact that your editor wants to team up in 2016 for a novel character presentation is outstanding. I’m sitting here wow’d. Thank you! 🙂

  12. Hi Laurie

    It’s kinda weird.
    I am basically really cautious, and I scare really easy, and I rarely do anything without a plan B and plan C, yet many would say that I am way out there. And for me, I have intentionally developed competencies that give me confidence that I can handle the things I fear, at least to a useful level of probability.

    I have dived into the dark ocean depths of 100ft deep (and not too clear) water, on a single breath, and returned (after 5 years of practice).
    I have jumped into the ocean, miles from land, with a pod of Orca, and lived to tell the tail.
    I was scared of heights, yet gained the confidence to abseil, fly aeroplanes, and climb mountains.
    I was shy, yet put myself in the public political arena (the first time I did so I wasn’t as prepared as I thought, and the elation depression cycles were down to 20 minutes at the end of a full on 6 week campaign).

    Recently, a few days ago, I wrote a submission to a review of our fisheries management system which broke all political conventions, and just said everything as I saw it in plain language. That is quite likely to upset quite a few people.

    Yesterday I wrote a short critique of the current approach to AI being taken by Elon Musk et al –

    There is an old piece of Buddhist wisdom that I picked up a long time ago, do the thing that you fear most and the death of fear is certain. I’m still playing with it.

    • Ted — Based on your harrowing experiences, you’ve definitely “played” with that piece of Buddhist wisdom — good grief!

      I followed the link you shared (thank you). I very much resonate with what you shared, especially: “We need to demonstrate, through both our words and our deeds that we do in fact value life and liberty – universally…”

      Gosh, I’m glad I know YOU! 🙂

  13. I love tuning in to the energy. When it’s the sort of energy that draws me in, creates excitement and momentum… I can leap through the comfort barrier and enjoy surprising myself!
    (Just don’t ask me to walk on a tightrope across a deep ravine!)

  14. One of my favorite things to do in my teens was to go to Coney Island in the summer and do the parachute Jump. Oh my, was it thrilling. I don’t know if they still have the jump there, but I’m beginning to feel I need to do it again!

  15. August 2015 we closed and signed onto a new house We put the stunning house with a view on the market in July…1/2 the size, leaking roof, no heat, no hot water, leaking windows, no-insulation… non-working kitchen We really let go and moved Oct 13th into the new space. Everyday we let go of the “dream house of 25 years because even though it is the #1 looked at house on multiple listing the right buyer has not even made an offer. We have dropped the price down to bare bones off the appraised value – still lookers come and look. We are doing everything right, but that is our retirement funds we can not drop the price any more. Everyday we let go again and again and again. We are in a row of 1 million dollar house and $650K house and $795K houses with a stunning view. My husband is working every job that comes his way…but 2 mortgages is very hard to take on the budget, everyday we let go, let go and hope….and yet today my husband feels like a design failure…no one wants an energy efficient, solar panel house with a stunning view. That pays money to the owner and does not pollute with a professional kitchen….and his gardens are simple and beautiful. Where is the momentum? if he goes up to patch the roof again at 1964 house with so much rain he is afraid he will fall through the roof … Sometimes it is hard to let go over and over again. We are frustrated today…Good news: at the single story house my walking is improving so much and only my right foot toes are still dropping with walking sticks my leg swing is back and my balance is doing well Have figured out how to drive and get errands done with such good improvements. Letting go is us

    • Patricia — I don’t know where those darned new owners are, they’re sure taking their sweet bippy time to show up!

      In 2014 when we (finally!) sold our home of 21 years, we realized it was the home (much more than us) who was waiting for the “right” new occupant. Once he showed up, the house grabbed him hook, line, and sinker!

      I’m so glad to know your single level home is a boon to your walking and physical recovery 🙂

  16. Laurie …Laurie I hate secrets …I tell you what , just whisper your secret in my ear , promise I won’t tell the others 😉
    When will you be able to tell us ? Hope it’s sooner rather than later.
    I suppose you could say having new neighbours round for chomp and chats . Having been I social phobic for many years , it’s like peeling off an unwanted layer and every time I do, it reveals the real me …and I like it . Plus I thank my lovely neighbours for helping me do it .

    • Cherry — I’m so glad that you love your new home in your new location, and that you’re discovering, and liking, the real you!

      (Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to reveal a good portion of my secret the first Tuesday in January)…

  17. Ohhh, boy. Yes, I feel like I let go and fly into the deep every day. My writing, learning how to grandparent, living in a new area, beginning a new kind of exercise, focusing on mediation, ahhh, so much to fly to.

  18. Ah how timely for me. BTW the idea for this post and that capture are brilliantly conceived Laurie! This past week at my blogsite I decided to state an opinion and stood with it despite some contrarian voices. To be sure that group had some very good points, but so did those who shared my position.

  19. Love seeing your landscape (especially knowing my little sister is there to enjoy it as well). So excited to hear more about your secret! When you announce it, please alert me on Twitter since I’m not online that much these days! Happy holidays.

  20. After forty-eight years the opportunity finally afforded itself for me to ask my high school sweet heart, Sandi White, for her hand in marriage. Always loved river swings. An apt and mindful metaphor indeed.

  21. Thank you for visiting my little blog about the meaning of beauty. Your picture here reminded me on a time 40 years ago. We’ve walked to the lake, where we’ve had such a fantastic rope, and with much laughter we’re fallen in the deep water. It was a youth full of adventures with much pleasure. Kind regards from old Germany 🙂

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