I’ve had three blogs prior to this one. None of them exist today. I designed them for specific purposes and named them accordingly. That was their death knell. When I became disinterested in that purpose or felt constrained, the blog went to the glue factory.
So when I started ‘Swimming with Elephants’, my chief desire was that it survive. I had to defuse my desire to delete it in the future. I’d need to be able to post whatever I pleased without it seeming irrelevant.
Short stories, essays, drabbles, photos, videos, quotes, whatever, about sex, politics, writing, family, death, music, literature, art, travel, poverty, race, gender, goodness, religion, criticism, food, television, whatever. The blog needed placid, durable naming.
Elephants swim beneath the surface, only the tips of their trunks breaching the water for air. A swimmer on the surface would see only the tiniest part of them with earthly clarity.
They would feel their presence, though. The swimmer’s feet might brush the giants’ backs. An unnatural surge or current might heave around them as one of the creatures passes.
And if the swimmer dived, and opened their eyes, they would get a glimpse of the whole. Not a clear image, but the clearest water grants to an open human eye. They might see that one elephant swims beneath another, its cub, bearing it closer to the surface. They might see a bull, temporarily abandoning territorialism as it makes the passage.
But whatever they see, they see only for a moment. Buoyancy and lung capacity force them back to the surface.
That, I guess, is how I picture this blog. The issues of human society are submerged enormities, giants you feel and glimpse but only for instants at a time see clearly. They have tremendous strength but it’s unknowing, primal. With each tiny reflection on them they become a little clearer, but everyone sees them differently, and some swim with entirely different herds.
So I’m swimming with my elephants. This is what I see: mostly from the surface, and sometimes, if I’m lucky, from the longest dives I can stand.