How cold is the water?

Still working on the dissertation proposal.

Up to now, I’ve been doing a combination of reading, taking copious notes, and freewriting. Starting tomorrow, I begin writing an actual first draft — with paragraphs, form, structure, maybe even (shudder) an outline.

And the metaphor that has found its way into my psyche is that of a clear, sparkling mountain lake. So beautiful, and I do love to swim, and I know how to swim — but oh, isn’t the water going to be so cold, at least at first?

Well, there are several ways I can cope with that. I can ease my way in, gently, gently, no rush. I’ve also heard — this is just a rumor, mind you — that some people jump right in.

Come to think of it, I already know the approach that works best for me, the approach that I usually use.

First I ease in slowly, to about waist height.

Then, using my fingers, I rub the water into some of my more sensitive areas. The crooks of the elbows. The armpits. The pulse points in my neck.

Then, and only then, I take a deep breath…I count to three…and I plunge!

Mind you, this may have nothing to do with how I approach the work tomorrow.

But maybe, just maybe, it’s a place to start.


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