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Swimming Lesson

Gabriel Don (2018)

“Don’t pay attention to the other swimmers in the pool,” they told me. Safe seeming concrete boundaries, water tamed for silly human games we called a race. But I wasn’t in a pool and water was not tame and this was not a game and I was not safe.  “That’s when you lose,” they had told me. But I had looked. I had looked into the eyes of every single competitor and realised that this was not a competition. No one needed to lose for another to win and when we lost; when we lost important things like the ground we stand on and the air we breathe; when we lost the things that feed us like the people we love; when we realised the things we fought to win like money and fame destroyed the things we needed; when we lost, when we lost, we all lost.

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